A YEAR after taking control of Hartlepool United, and chairman Raj Singh has been praised by the club’s manager.

Singh has stabilised Pools off the field, following the most traumatic of spells when the club could have gone out of business.

The chairman joined forces with Jeff Stelling to pump funds into the financially-embarrassed organisation.

He admitted at the weekend he has already committed “around 60 per cent above what I had initially committed to”.

The owner inherited a number of financial surprises carried over from the previous two regimes, one of which was a tax bill in excess of £70,000 for season tickets sold in the summer of 2017.

But those issues have now been cleared up and Hignett, now manager after being appointed director of football once the takeover was completed, admitted: “A year on and I think we are where we thought we could be and wanted to be.

“A safe and stable footing and the chairman said he has rid of 99.9 per cent of the legacy stuff so that’s not an issue anymore. I couldn’t ask for the better chairman, he has supported me massively. I feel responsible as I got him involved in it.

“Jeff has been the same. Done everything he said. We sat down and said if we can finish top half and rid the club of debts then we would take it. We have to win a few to get top half, then it’s all about next year.’’

Hignett took over from Richard Money in January, who lasted only a month after he replaced Matthew Bates, and he has turned his attentions to next season in the hope of making a serious attempt at getting back into the Football League.

“I can just concentrate on coaching the team and not worrying about other things behind the scenes,’’ he said. “The club is in such a good place now, the club will only move forward. As long as the chairman is in here and the people he has in place here then this place will move forward.

“It might not be 100 miles an hour, but it will move forward and as long as he can see progress the chairman will put his money in.’’

In his programme notes for Saturday’s home game with Solihull Moors, Singh wrote: “The first year has been very eventful, with a hell of a lot of progress made on and off the field. I think I have the right people around me to make this club a real success and am always looking for other football-minded or investment-minded people who can come in to benefit the club.

“One thing I promised myself and the fans was that I would leave this club in a better position than when I came in. I was determined not to let history repeat itself with what happened at Darlington.

“In that respect I think I could leave today or tomorrow and I think I will have kept that promise.’’