Feature / Huddersfield Town

To Share Or Not To Share: Will HTAFC Ever Get Them Back?

Whilst writing this I have tried to be impartial as I can. Although I am firmly behind Dean Hoyle, I cannot pass judgement until all the facts are out in the open. I was also due to post this yesterday but had to amend a few bits due to Ken Davy releasing a statement

It has been an interesting four years on and off the field since Dean Hoyle bought into Huddersfield Town, both on and off the field, from play-off heart ache to a manager fining a player for wearing the wrong colour trainers.

Except promotion, most Town fans have wanted one thing and that was the Stadium shares back in the hands of Huddersfield Town Football Club and not in the hands of former chairman Ken Davy.

Davy had bought Town’s shares when he also bought the club after administration in 2003 and unbeknown to all Town fans he had bought them for a measly £2 and put them in with the shares he owns by being Huddersfield Giants chairman calling it Huddersfield Sporting Pride.

There was uproar form all Town fans when they learned of Davy’s actions but there was nothing much they could do until the arrival of Dean Hoyle in 2008, when he bought into the club and then in 2009 when he took full control of Huddersfield Town. Fight For Answers (now Huddersfield Town Supporters Association) took up the fight and deserve a lot of credit for getting the issue out in the open as well as David Conn of The Guardian who wrote this telling article.

However, all Town fans were given a surprise Christmas gift in 2009 when it was announced that Hoyle was in talks with Davy and KDSL about the return of Huddersfield Town’s shares. This deal was finalised in February 2010 subject to Kirklees Council consent.

Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle (Photo courtesy of htafc.com)

Roll on nearly two years and Town fans are still wondering what is with the delay. Then on Tuesday Town Chairman Dean Hoyle released a very well worded statement of what had gone on behind the scenes over the past few years. He did not “Slam” Ken Davy like Sky Sports reported on their website but instead informed everyone on why he had decided to pull the plug on. (Read the Full statement HERE)

From what Hoyle said I can only fathom that Davy’s latest proposal of change of rent formula was the final straw in what had turned out to be Hoyle making a lot of concessions. The rent formula which sees Town pay the majority due to playing nearly twice as many home game at the Galpharm as well as having double the crowd Huddersfield Giants receive.

However, yesterday (just as I was about to post this article) Davy responded saying that he had not wanted the formula changed. So who to believe? Is Kirklees Council too at fault for the deal not going through? (Read Davy’s response HERE)

Is he really the saviour? (photo courtesy of thesun.co.uk)

Until all the truths are out in the open fans of Huddersfield Town will playing guessing games as to what has actually gone on. Although some Town fans have criticised Hoyle paying Davy millions for the return of the shares it must be said that Davy is only getting back money which he invested in Huddersfield Town when he paid off money owed on wages to former players believed to be around the £1.5million mark.

Both Huddersfield Town and Giants could also suffer if a deal does not go through. Huddersfield Town are paying £1.7million a year in rent for something the club does not own making the club at this moment something of a white elephant. The Giants on the other hand could see gates fall if there is further animosity between both clubs, if Town fans chose to side firmly with Hoyle regarding the share issue.

Personally I hope a deal can be resurrected. Huddersfield Town cannot afford to be throwing money at a stadium for which they get nothing from it; this includes sales of any food or drink within the ground. Town can’t choose to move stadium either as the club signed a 150 year lease when Davy was chairman tying the club down to the stadium.

So what happens next? Well it look like Town fans will protest whether it be at the next few home games or perhaps when the Super League season starts at Huddersfield Giants games. Will this realistically help? Only time will tell

I really do believe the only way to sort this mess out is for Hoyle and his team to meet alongside Davy and KSDL to thrash out a deal to ensure that all sides have the best deal at the Galpharm Stadium for years to come.


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