HUDDERSFIELD Town chairman Dean Hoyle says being owner of the football club is a pleasure – but insists it has to be run as a business.
Speaking before a packed audience at yesterday’s Kirklees Business Conference, the founder of greetings card chain Card Factory admitted he sometimes wondered if he had done the right thing in stepping up to buy the club he has supported man and boy.
“It is fantastic, but it is an expensive hobby,” he told delegates to the event at the Galpharm Stadium. “It is business and pleasure combined. The funny thing is that I now take defeat on the pitch much better than I did when I was a fan on the terraces.”
Asked about his ambition for the club, Dean said: “I know we haven’t moved the club up a division, but we have moved a hell of a lot behind the scenes. We have got to a certain level where the club is sustainable and there has been lots of capital investment in things like training facilities.”
And he said that if Huddersfield Town reached the dizzy heights of the Premier League, fans would have to realise it is a club “with limitations”.
“Clubs which really sustain Premier League football are in big cities with big fan bases and big overseas investment,” he said.
“Attendances of even 20 to 25,000 are not sustainable. We have to live within our means and if we got into the Premier League the biggest issue is surviving the first year. By hook or by crook you try to stay up in the first season and into the second year. But you have to remember who you are.”
Referring to clubs who spent huge sums on big money players in a failed bid to stay in the top flight, Dean said: “We don’t want short-term gain for long-term pain.