Signing of the Times


At last, after a protracted and long drawn out affair that would put the signing of Treaty of Versailles to shame, Dave Challinor has finally put pen to paper and signed his soul to Hartlepool United for the next three years.

"Thank goodness for that" say one and all and let all Poolies rejoice and raise a glass or two in praise, celebration and relief.

Long live the King.

I dread to think what the reaction of the Poolie faithful would have been if, for whatever reason, Challinor had not put pen to paper and instead walked away at the end of the season to pastures new.

Finding a replacement for Challinor, with a 46% win rate, would have been akin to finding a successor to Alex Ferguson when he abdicated the Manchester United throne. Basically some very big shoes to fill.
"Challinor has single-handedly rekindled the fans' love and passion for the club."

For the first time since the days of Ronnie Moore, thanks to last season's form and play-off final win, Challinor has single-handedly rekindled the fans' love and passion for the club. Who would have thought in their wildest dreams that at the beginning of this season Pools would be attracting 1,500 additional new fans through their turnstiles for each home game and the spending power that comes with that? On the plus side, many of these new fans are youngsters who long-term will hopefully get the bug and become life-long patriots of the club.

If the unthinkable had occurred, Challinor's departure would have coincided with a massive drop in fans' footfall through the Victoria Park turnstiles.

It is no secret that the Challinors like the club as well as the area and his son is due to attend Durham University but giving Dave Challinor a long-term contract has shown the chairman's faith in his manager which in turn will now allow him to move to the North East and simultaneously eradicates lost time spent on the road travelling to and from Chester, which in turn could be time better spent on HUFC.

I dare say that one of Raj's backroom boffins worked out that the money that could be saved in the manager's fuel allowances, travelling home and back a couple of times a week, could now be transferred and used as part of the manager's new package at no additional cost to the club. A win-win all round.

Three years will give Challinor the time to start putting his chess pieces into place and build the club on the footballing side in his own image and hopefully take it to the next level ...or levels?

[Photo courtesy of Scott Llewellyn]

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