CHEAP FIX WILL PUN­ISH POOLS Moore’s warn­ing to cri­sis club

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO PLAY-OFF PREVIEW - By Chris Dunlavy

HARTLE­POOL hero Ron­nie Moore is warn­ing his for­mer club to spend big in the Na­tional League – or face obliv­ion.

Moore, 64, ar­rived on Teesside in De­cem­ber 2014 and fa­mously clawed back a ten-point deficit to keep Pools in League Two.

But the Cleveland club failed to build on that suc­cess and, de­spite a dra­matic fi­nal-day vic­tory over Don­caster last week­end, plunged out of the Foot­ball League for the first time in 96 years.

Now, with chair­man Gary Coxall gone and no per­ma­nent man­ager in place, Moore says Pools need to get their act to­gether quickly.

Mess­ing

“Who­ever is in charge, they’ve got to have a go,” said Moore, who spent part of last sea­son in charge of big-spend­ing Na­tional League out­fit Eastleigh.

“It’s no good say­ing ‘Right, we’ve dropped down, we need to take three or four hun­dred grand out of the bud­get’.

“If you start cut­ting cor­ners and mess­ing about, you’ll spend a long, long time in that divi­sion. The com­pe­ti­tion is just too strong.

“It took Lin­coln six years to get out. Ch­ester and Wrex­ham are still there. York got rel­e­gated this year, Stock­port in the past.

“The warn­ings are there. If you skimp and try to do things on the cheap, you could eas­ily go down again.

“I heard them say they in­tend to ap­point a man­ager by the end of next week. I’m think­ing ‘Are you for real?’ The man­ager who comes in will have only next Fri­day to de­cide who he wants to keep. Will he even know ev­ery player he’s got? Who is go­ing to guide him on that?

“And how many play­ers will be signed up be­tween now and then? I guar­an­tee man­agers are al­ready get­ting phone calls from agents of­fer­ing play­ers about. If you’re not in a po­si­tion to move, you lose them.

“It’s hard enough as man­ager of Hartle­pool to try to at­tract peo­ple and the longer they wait the worse it will get. They’ll get play­ers, but they’ll be the dregs.” Blame for rel­e­ga­tion has largely been placed at the door of Dave Jones, the for­mer Wolves, Cardiff and Southamp­ton man­ager, who was touted by ex-chair­man Gary Coxall as a “no risk” re­place­ment for the sacked Craig Hignett in Jan­uary. But the 60-year-old, whose ap­point­ment came af­ter three years out of man­age­ment, won just four of his 18 matches and was ru­moured to have up­set both staff and play­ers. Jones was even­tu­ally dis­missed on April 24, fol­low­ing on from a tele­vised plea from celebrity Pools fan Jeff Stelling on Sky’s Soc­cer Satur­day. “Davy com­ing was a bit of a sur­prise to ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing me,” added Moore. “I didn’t think he had any in­ter­est in com­ing back as a man­ager.

“His cre­den­tials, his CV – it’s all re­ally good. But it’s all been at the top level. When he dropped down, you heard ru­mours that he wasn’t treat­ing the back room and of­fice staff very well, that he was dis­liked as a per­son.

“I know some peo­ple said Jeff Stelling shouldn’t have said any­thing, but those feel­ings were eat­ing away at ev­ery Hartle­pool fan. A lot of peo­ple I spoke to said they wished Jeff had done it two weeks ear­lier.

Busi­ness

“But look, you’ve still got to get on with your job as a foot­baller. I didn’t love ev­ery man­ager I played un­der, but you have to go and earn your wage. It doesn’t mean you down tools.

“Peo­ple blame Gary, or Dave. They point to sta­bil­ity un­der (for­mer chair­man) Ken Hod­croft. But Ken went through man­agers like no­body’s busi­ness.

“In the end, it comes down to sta­bil­ity and loy­alty. If you keep chop­ping a man­ager’s head off when things go wrong, as Hartle­pool have, you won’t suc­ceed.

“There’ll al­ways be a big turnover of play­ers. There’ll al­ways be money wasted.

“You’re al­ways on the edge and even­tu­ally it’s in­evitable that you’ll go over.”

CEN­TRAL FIG­URES: Sky’s Jeff Stelling and ex-boss Dave Jones MOORE’S MERRY: Ron­nie Moore en­joys Hartle­pool’s Great Es­cape in 2015

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