Money Money Money...


The one thing about supporting Pools is that there is never a dull moment. Tell a lie, come to think of it there have been a fair few gloomy days as well as ...weeks...months and years.

First we hear is that Richard Money has decided that he no longer wants to be the manager of Hartlepool United. This road to Damascus moment apparently occurred two days into the job when the realisation of the scale of the task undertaken must have hit home. This before a ball had even been kicked under his tenure. Then discussions with the Pools hierarchy with a view to a job swop/change and being moved upstairs in some capacity or other, not connected with the playing side of things. I wager that the job description must have read something like "Experienced coach/Manager required for struggling non-league football club." Not for someone who is looking for employment above the ground floor.

Something must have been said very early doors as stated in the last edition of M.B. It was very strange to see Craig Hignett, Director of Football, in his track suit warming up the squad prior to kick offs on several occasions and then spending the rest of these matches in the dug out alongside The Money man.

What I fail to understand is why Richard Money applied for the job in the first place. He he must have known what he was walking into, having thoroughly carried out detailed research on Pools, allegedly having watched every match video ...which surely would have deterred the most enthusiastic of applicants. Collectively the CEO, the director of football and the owner of the club were all blown away with his interview and afterwards Money himself said that he knew in his blood, when he heard that Pools had gone non-league, that one day he would manage them. Talk about selling yourself and ticking all the right boxes; he should have been in the Dragons Den. I am sure Lee Bradbury is having a little chuckle to himself.
"I am sure Lee Bradbury is having a little chuckle to himself."

On the downside, you have to look at Raj's track record of appointing managers. At Darlington, Colin Todd and Steve Staunton, both big names who had played at the highest level for the top teams in the Premiership, were ultimately failures as managers. Oh and we can add Matthew Bates to that list.

I would be very surprised if the interviewing panel, as a matter of concern, had, prior to his appointment not asked Richard Money or his former club Solihull, the circumstances and reasoning behind him walking away from the West Midland outfit.

I was going to write a piece for M.B about the positives of Richard Money, and his breath of fresh air attitude of telling it how it really is:
Too many central defenders at the club.
Too many midfield players of the same type.
In all his footballing life he had never seen the ball passed backwards so much by one team (Nicky Featherstone stand up and take a bow ...or a back pass.)
Very few players could run forward with the ball.
An alarming lack of height throughout the team and the lack of a battling midfielder who can tackle.
He also hinted, but could not say a lot in case it affected the morale of the players alluded to, that a fair few of them will be shown the door marked exit at the end of the season.

I could not argue with a word of any of that.

He also quite rightly stated that in future this club will no longer be a rest home for injury prone players who were coming to the end of their careers for a last pay day. Can't fault the man.

That aside he was a man of many contradictions. We should not play three at the back. The following match - three at back. After the embarrassing defeat at Gateshead he was quoted as saying that Pools were the better team on the day. Not from where I was sat were they. Then we are told that we need to bring youth into the squad. Shortly afterwards the experienced 31 year old Michael Raynes is signed (and rightly so and needed.) And on it went.

My problem with Money (apart from the fact that I can't hold on to it) was that he did not seem to have much time for the best prospect and one of the few decent footballers at the club, Peter Kioso, who hardly got a game under his brief reign. As soon as Craig Hignett became manager Kioso was installed back into the first team starting XI. A case of if your face fits.

Out of the blue came the announcement that Money was effectively swapping roles with Craig Hignett, but not as Director of Football but as someone who was going to look at the club's infrastructure, which no one, even from outside, would disagree needs delving into.

Hignett as we all know was desperate to get back into management, having put in for the Gateshead job last season, so with this switch he will be in his element. How this will impact on his relationship with Raj Singh, if and when there comes a time when his friend has to sack him? It is indeed a tough call.

I was still getting my head round the whole Richard Money affair when I saw the headline in the Northern Echo with the word "Exclusive" reading "Richard Money Exits Hartlepool."

I immediately checked out the Mail website but nothing was forthcoming until nearly five hours later, when we saw a more low key reserved headline (obviously they had not being given the exclusive by the club and did not have all the facts to hand and actually quoted the Northern Echo) that Richard Money nears the exit door. So reading between the lines he had still not departed the club at this point.

With that I accessed the Latest news section on the HUFC website where the headline heralded: "Women roar back to form at Wallsend" (Noisy beggars). No mention of Richard Money. Interestingly, and very Kremlin-like, at first glance it looks as if any photographs/video interviews or anything to do with Richard Money has been removed from the site which suggests he has left or is leaving the club. However nearly twenty fours after the Echo's exclusive, it was also interesting to note that there had been no further mention of his departure pending or otherwise on the club's web page.

On that evening's BBC News they said, playing it safe like the Mail, that unconfirmed reports were stating that Richard Money had left Hartlepool United. At this point it looks as if it is a case of going, going but not quite gone, ...and perhaps staying on a bit longer than expected.

If I were in his shoes I would be too embarrassed to seek a pay-off, if one indeed is being sought. At the very beginning I would have held my hand up and said "look I am very sorry I have wasted my own and everybody's else's time but after mulling the situation over this is not the job for me, please cancel my contract and I'll be off. Cheerio." (...and there he was. Gone.)

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