“TIME FOR CHANGE?” URGES HARTLEPOOL UNITED CHAIRMAN WHO PRAISES ROYAL’S SUPPORT FOR THE CLUB

April 30, 2015

Hartlepool United Chairman Ken Hodcroft has praised Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Richard Royal’s interest and support for the club in his programme notes ahead of the final game of the season, whilst slamming Labour’s Iain Wright.
 

 

Hodcroft wrote to fans suggesting “maybe it’s time for change?” at the top of Hartlepool politics, urging them to “think carefully about voting for any councillor or MP who does not recognise the importance of this Football Club and its future and the income it brings into the town.”

 

He praised Royal, who was invited to join Russ Green in the Directors’ Box at a home game earlier this year, for “showing current and future interest in the Club and support from a political point of view.”

 

In contrast, Hodcroft heavily criticised Labour MP Iain Wright for failing to support the club on many occasions and for making public comments that “did not benefit this Club but were made for political gain”, adding that “his failure to assist in negotiations with the Council on the land purchase issue over the years has been disappointing to say the least.”

 

Richard Royal, whose father is a life-long Pools supporter, has consistently argued that the club’s success is inseparable from that of the town and that greater backing should be given by both the local MP and local councillors.

 

At a public hustings held in St George’s Church on 28th April, Royal reiterated his support for the club and his belief that it should be given greater freedom over the future of Victoria Park. He also accused Iain Wright of letting the club down at times of need, an assertion seemingly confirmed by Hodcroft.

 

Royal showed his faith in Pools by placing a charity bet with bookmakers Ladbrokes that they would avoid relegation, at a time when they were still four points adrift. The winnings will be donated the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

 

Richard Royal said:

 

“Hartlepool United is a fundamental part of this town and central to its identity, whilst bringing in vital income that we all benefit from. It is essential that the local MP supports the club and enables it to fulfil its potential.

 

“Ken Hodcroft correctly points out that I have consistently shown this support, whilst the existing MP has failed to do so during his eleven year term. Ken is right to suggest that it is time for a change, it is time to turn Hartlepool Royal Blue.”

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