Craig Harrison: Hartlepool United manager leaves National League club

Craig Harrison led The New Saints to six Welsh Premier League titles
Craig Harrison led The New Saints to six Welsh Premier League titles

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison has left the National League club with immediate effect following a 2-0 defeat by FC Halifax Town.

The 40-year-old took charge in May 2017 after six years with Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints.

Tuesday's defeat left Pools 19th in the National League table, three points off the drop zone with 13 games to play.

"Hartlepool United would like to place on record its thanks to Craig for his hard work," a club statement said.

Pools, who were relegated from the English Football League last season, remain up for sale as owners HUFC Holdings Limited look for new investment.

Fans crowdsourced money to help the financially-troubled club cover wages and running costs as they tried to avoid administration earlier this season.

"We appreciate that, in recent months, Craig has had to work in extremely difficult circumstances due to the uncertainty over the club's future," the club statement continued.

"The club has already started the process of finding a new manager, but in the meantime Matthew Bates and Paul Jenkins will take charge of training and prepare the team for Saturday's home game with Ebbsfleet United."

During his time at The New Saints, Harrison led the club to a world record 27 consecutive wins on the way to the Welsh title last season, breaking Dutch giants Ajax's 44-year record in the process.

His record as Pools boss, though, was 10 wins from 36 games, with 16 losses and 10 draws.


BBC Tees reporter Robert Law

"The news will come as no real surprised to Hartlepool United fans after a run of games that has seen them win just once since 21 November.

"Following Pools' 2-0 defeat at Halifax in the National League on Tuesday, the travelling supporters made their way to the side of the pitch to vent their frustrations and that may have been the last straw for those in charge at the club.

"However, with little to no money and administration looming, the question now is, can they afford to bring in a new boss? Paul Jenkins and Matthew Bates have been placed in temporary charge against Ebbsfleet on Saturday with Pools three points above the drop zone."

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