HARTLEPOOL United chairman Raj Singh has opened up about Dave Challinor’s switch to Stockport County, a move that has left them managerless for the last two weeks.  

After signing a three-year contract back in September, Stockport poached Challinor and struck a deal to appoint him as their new manager. Pools were rocked by the news Challinor decided to move back down to the National League and the club are on the search for a new manager.  

While Challinor’s contribution, of getting the club back to the Football League, will live long in the memory of Pools fans, the departure has left a bitter taste. Challinor and his family members have stated that the move wasn’t just for financial reasons and they’ve cherished their time at the club.  

However, the club are considering legal action for the way in which the 46-year-old was approached by Stockport with Chairman Singh convinced that business was concluded away from their attentions.  

In a question and answer session, he said: “I don’t really want to get too much into it but I do understand the fans are expecting some sort of explanation on what’s gone on.  

“Lee (Rust) has got a phonecall the Friday before last from his (Dave Challinor’s) agent to say that Stockport are interested in Dave.  

“They been speaking to him? We don’t know but I’m convinced the deal was done by that time anyway and then the next thing was that I spoke to Dave on Sunday morning after the Leyton Orient game. 

“I asked him if his mind was made up and he said no, he was torn. He was in two minds whether to go but they made him an offer he can’t turn down. I think his mind was made up by that point and we all know what happened after that.  

“A couple of people there (Stockport) haven’t done themselves any favours by the way they have behaved. That’s about as much as I will say on that.  

“We were building something special, we all thought. The fans certainly bought into that and so did we. Then all of a sudden this phonecall comes out of the blue and bang, the thing sort of falls apart for a few days.  

“When you’ve just signed a three-year contract five or six weeks ago, you don’t expect somebody to move.  

“Telling us that they are going to move their family up here and that it is a long term project and that they are 100% committed to the project so you don’t expect somebody to walk away from that contract six weeks later.” 

Singh also confirmed that the club had received the adequate compensation fee required to release Challinor from his contract at Pools.  

He added: “That was one of the things that took so long to get the contract done. There was figures in their for compensation at different levels. It’s important to let the fans know that different levels to different leagues, so we have got compensation and that’s been paid so that’s fine.” 

At the moment, Antony Sweeney is taking care of first team affairs and has won one, drawn one and lost one of his three games in interim charge of the club.  

The situation regarding Challinor’s departure may well get messy as both parties reveal their sides of the story. The 46-year-old has so far drawn both of his games in charge at County.  

Singh had been locked in negotiations with the manager for a number of months before he put pen-to-paper on a three year deal. There were a number of details in the deal that needed to be ironed out but the Chairman believes that his former manager was speaking to other clubs at the time.  

Singh added: “The reasons the contract took three-and-a-half months to agree and sign up was one of the reasons and that’s where we had an issue where we set a certain budget which I believed, and I still do, that it was good enough to get us into the play-offs, at the very least and Dave agreed to that. 

“Because the contract got delayed and it went on for two or three months, I wasn’t happy with that so on the back of that, I decided to hold some of the money back that we would keep for the January window because at that time, if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure whether Dave was going to be with us because I was getting stories he’s been talking to other clubs. Rightly or wrongly but that was my information at the time.”