HARTLEPOOL UNITED have been granted a temporary stay of execution as they try to secure their future.

A meeting was held yesterday to determine how the outstanding money from the on-line fund-raising campaign.

After an outstanding tax bill of around £48,000 was paid last week, some £38,000 remains.

And the funds will be used to ensure the club’s next two home games, on Saturday against Woking and Ebbsfleet seven days later, can go ahead.

However, wages for staff and players are due again in two weeks. They were paid last month by the gate receipts from the club’s near-7,000 gate for the home game with Wrexham on January 20.

A club statement read: “The Club has met today with Rachel Cartwright as well as other fundraisers who have helped on the Just Giving fundraising. We have discussed how the remainder of the funding may be released and utilised by the Club.

“The Club’s solicitor, Andrew Cawkwell, was in attendance along with Pam Duxbury and they were able to provide comfort and confirmation that the fundraising monies would be used to support ongoing trading commitments of the Club and enable us to meet the February home fixtures.

“As a result of those assurances, the Club is pleased to confirm that we have reached agreement over a process that would enable the funds to be released for us to continue to trade and fulfil fixtures.

“Once again, the Club wishes to express its deep gratitude for the ongoing support and fundraising efforts of all fans.’’

Pools will hope for a big gate for the next two games to generate some desperately-needed revenue.

They have gone two weeks without a game, after Saturday’s trip to Barrow was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Their last game was a 4-3 defeat at Eastleigh on January 27. Captain Carl Magnay was sent off at the end and the weekend’s postponed game means he won’t play again until February 24.

The free week has given injured pair Michael Ledger and Luke George more time to get fit and they should be involved at the weekend.

One player still in the ranks is Michael Woods. A move to Stevenage on transfer deadline day was halted by Pools.

Woods was offered a deal to move and was set to go before Pools pulled the plug – despite admitting to the midfielder they could not guarantee his wages in the coming months.

Boss Craig Harrison said: “Keeping Woodsy was important. He’s our top scorer, so losing him as well as Jon Franks then it’s two top scorers taken away. We don’t want that.

“If the club had coughed some money up for Woodsy or any player then it would have been out of our hands anyway.

“We are happy that no-one did offer money. Six or seven players were being eyed up, but no-one coughed up for them.

“The players know the situation, they know what’s going on. Let’s be realistic, I’m sure it’s been on everyone’s mind. Put myself in their situation and I understand it, but they are contracted here and we need them.’’

He added: “If we let them all go who had interest in them, then we had six or seven senior pros left and struggled to fulfil fixtures.

“We managed to keep hold of them and we have enough to start winning games again. Once we get a win, a clean sheet, then the penny drops and confidence comes back. We haven’t been doing as well as we should be, but scoring goals and being in front in games shows we are doing something right.’’