JEFF STELLING, the Hartlepool United life president, is ready to help his club secure survival.

The Sky Sports presenter and lifelong Pools fan is due to meet a potential investor on Monday and admits he is willing to put his own money into the club if necessary.

Pools are in desperate need of investment, with owners Sage and benefactor John Blackledge seeking a way out.

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A club statement on Thursday evening admitted that administration is a real option. January 25 is D-Day for Pools, when they need around £200,000 to pay wages and bills.

Stelling, Hartlepool born and bred, admitted: “I’m trying to motivate people to keep us going to reach that £200,000. I’m involved in discussions with a number of people, the Supporters’ Trust included.

“They are hopefully ready to go in if no investor comes forward. I will be part of that. In the meantime, I’m in early talks with one potential investor who is willing to put significant amounts in and I’m meeting him on Monday evening.

“I will certainly show the colour of my money if we need it if the Trust runs the club. People aren’t aware how much is costs to run the club.’’

An on-line fundraising campaign has already reached almost £30,000, with supporters from across the country contributing.

Danny Graham, the former Middlesbrough and Sunderland striker, has donated £2,500.

Graham, linked with Pools during his time at Boro when Pools were managed by Danny Wilson, wrote on line: “Good luck Hartlepool United hope you reach your target ... I’m sure you will hopefully the whole of the north east get behind u and all the football fans out there’’

Pools are without a game today after being knocked out of the FA Trophy in the first round. They are next in action in seven days’ time when Wrexham visit Victoria Park, with hopes that the game will be a sell-out given the interest shown in the club’s situation.

Stelling added: “It breaks my heart. I’ve reported on this situation for so many clubs over the years, Orient most recent, and my heart has always gone out to them and my club is now in that position.

“We need that sort of support which others clubs have had to help them survive.

“What I feel is irrelevant to those at the club who fear for their jobs and livelihoods as a very difficult time.

“The money raised is a drop in the ocean - £200,000 needed to get us through to be able to fine an investor.

“The money the club is haemorrhaging every week, even if we raise the £200,000 we will be in the similar situation month later.

“It will keep the club afloat as a going concern, so hopefully someone comes and takes us on as a going concern. We don’t want to go out of business, don’t want to drop another division.

“Long-term we have to find a new investor.’’