HARTLEPOOL United are to appoint Martin Jesper as their new chief executive.

Mark Maguire has left his position at Victoria Park, with a club statement issued on Monday.

And chairman and owner Raj Singh has now turned to Jesper, who was previously chief executive at Darlington.

It is understood Jesper has already made contact with staff at the club and, while there has yet to be confirmation of his new post, he is making early headway on learning about the club and its issues and problems.

Jesper helped turn around the fortunes of Quakers after administration in 2012 as the club was placed in the Northern League by the FA.

It is understood Maguire was not seeking to leave his post at Victoria Park before his departure, while he spoke fondly of his time at the club in the prepared statement. He arrived at the club as a consultant during the troubled tenure of Pam Duxbury as Pools went into financial meltdown and remained during the takeover process.

Maguire has also been in touch with supporters since his exit, sending a message to praise "a very special club made even more so with unbeliveable fans".

The club’s message added that Maguire “will continue to assist the club during the handover process” but any notion of a change of ownership is wide of the mark and instead it refers to Jesper’s planned appointment.

The club last week announced they are actively seeking investment from both supporters and businesses, while supporters have raised over £16,000 towards the playing budget for boss Dave Challinor.

All players are on furlough in the absence of any sign of the National League returning and a number of redundancies were recently made at the club, leaving the operation extremely light on club staff.

Former boss Craig Hignett is still seeking his severance pay after he was sacked last October.

Jesper has had a spell in Scotland, after being appointed head of strategic developments at Hearts in 2015, shortly after he stood down from his role with the Quakers.

On leaving Darlington, he said: “My involvement with the club, both professionally and personally, has been the most challenging yet rewarding of my career. I am extremely proud of the significant achievements that have been delivered both on and off the pitch during my tenure.

“It has certainly been eventful! I have overseen two promotions in three seasons, yet behind the scenes it has needed three significant initiatives for the club to firstly survive, and then achieve its on-field success while also gearing up towards the return to town.’’