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Dean Hoyle: Our major new plans for Huddersfield Town fans and squad

Chairman speaks on financing the future

Dean Hoyle has revealed major plans for Huddersfield Town’s fans and squad for next season thanks to £2m of extra TV cash.

A cut-price season-card deal is hot on the agenda for 2016-17, when David Wagner will have cash to try and attract his player targets from the UK and Continent.

Hoyle emphasised: “We are in a really good financial state and I am personally happy because while the club is very reliant on me, it is becoming less reliant, which is where we need to get to.”

Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle at 'Ask the Chairman' Q&A session at PPG Canalside, Deighton
Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle at 'Ask the Chairman' Q&A session at PPG Canalside, Deighton

Hoyle says losses will be less in this 2015/16 season, thanks largely to a reduction of £2m in the club’s wage bill to around £9.5m.

Additionally, an increase of £2m in the TV payment from the Football League provides Town with the ideal opportunity to both make a bold move on pricing – a figure of £179 for the season (£7.90 per match) has been talked around – and to allow Wagner to put his own stamp on the Championship squad in summer.

“The club’s losses will reduce dramatically in the current season and going forward they will be even less, thanks to the TV money and legacy payments on the excellent transfer deals we have done on outgoing players during the last two years,” said Hoyle.

“With the extra money coming in for next season, this is the right moment for everyone to step up – myself, the club and the fans – to help take us forward in an exciting way.

“Sharing the up side of that TV deal with the supporters is the right thing to do.

Fan gallery: Nottingham Forest 0-2 Huddersfield Town

“We will use £1m of that extra money to re-engage with the fans through unbelievable savings on season-cards – initially for the first 10,000 bought, and we expect a big take-up.

“And the other £1m will be put back into the football costs – and maybe more if we get a better take-up on the tickets than we expect.

“As I’ve said on many occasions, further funds are available to reinvest in the squad over the summer following the transfers we’ve seen during the last two years. That is separate to the extra TV money.”

Town are still working around a pure trading loss of £4m a year, funded by £2m from the chairman and £2m from player transfers.

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The balance sheet for 2014-15 will reveal a £7.05m loss (it was £6.76m the previous year) due to the writing down of player contracts and depreciation of fixed assets, such as PPG Canalside, which is commonplace in accounts.

The club are due legacy payments for the outgoing transfers of players including Jacob Butterfield, Conor Coady and Alex Smithies.

If Derby County get promoted in the next few seasons, the value of the transfers will exceed £10m thanks to the Butterfield deal, with an estimated £650,000 also due in clauses on the Jordan Rhodes and Adam Clayton deals if Middlesbrough join the Rams in the Premier League.

Watch: Wagner on January transfers

Turnover has dropped slightly from £10.76m to £10.37m – lack of cup revenue didn’t help – while spending on the whole football operation at Town went up from £12.6m to £12.9m last year.

Player sales dropped from just over £3m to £2.86m, although there are still a lot of legacy payments (add-ons) to come from players sold over the past few years.

The boardroom chief explained the immediate strategy on the squad and the Centenary-style ticket offer (back in 2008, the £100 ticket attracted 16,500 fans to buy).

“We looked at our crowds going down, with high prices and complicated prices, and felt this was wrong and something needed to be rectified,” he said.

“Overload that with dour football being played before David Wagner’s arrival and people are not going to pay £25 and rising for something that’s not entertaining.

“The Centenary offer did superbly well and, while we haven’t finalised the details on this new one, we hope it will be successful for two main reasons – firstly we have a team playing exciting, attacking football which is very easy on the eye under David Wagner and, secondly, we are in the Championship playing better quality football against better quality teams.”

Hoyle is keen to back Wagner in the summer, insisting the wage bill and transfer money spent are two separate items, especially as emergency loans (month to month) will be scrapped next season, meaning the squad will need greater depth.

“We had a disappointing January (transfer window),” admitted Hoyle. “We had four targets and not one of them could we get through the door.

“David has stated those targets are still at their respective clubs and we will probably look to make moves on them again this summer.

“These targets – and David has produced a list for every position – are from both the UK and the Continent and we are looking at quality and at first-team squad members.

“We feel we have maybe enough potential in our ranks – highlighted by the likes of Philip Billing and others coming through – and now’s the time to concentrate on the first-team squad, combined with the cut-price ticket, combined with a first-class coach, and it’s now time to step up.”


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