All Town fans will remember the last game of the 2014-15 season when the Terriers travelled to Blackpool FC only to see the game abandoned following a pitch invasion.
It led to the FA fining Blackpool FC for the abandonment – but there was no recompense for the supporters.
This was followed by the Football League’s ‘Football Disciplinary Committee’ issuing an extremely critical report about Blackpool FC’s handling of the match – but still there was nothing for the supporters, even though the League proposed such a course of action.
We then heard from the Independent Football Ombudsman who, initially, said that the matter was beyond his remit.
Far from being content with this, HTSA continued to press the case for a review and, finally, Professor Derek Fraser (IFO) agreed to look at the complaints he had received.
Now he has issued his report (http://www.theifo.co.uk/adjudications.html) acknowledging the 20 pages of evidence provided by HTSA.
His report makes it crystal clear that Town supporters deserved far more than they got.
It is worth reading the report in full (only 14 pages) to get a sense of just how critical the Ombudsman has been.
To whet your appetite, here is a flavour:
“The IFO believes that the supporters had a sound case and the IFO is surprised that a compensation order was not made by the Commission.
“One cannot escape the conclusion that an opportunity was missed to recognise the legitimate interests of supporters as against the financial well-being of the club.”
The IFO then asserts yet again that he “believes that the travelling Huddersfield fans had a sound case for compensation which fell on deaf ears”.
Will the Football Association and the Football League be willing to listen now? The IFO even goes as far as to recommend “that the next time Blackpool hosts Huddersfield Town in a Football League fixture, it offers complimentary tickets to all travelling Huddersfield supporters.”
So here’s hoping for an early ‘Seasiders’ promotion as well as a big ‘thank you’ to Karl Oyston in anticipation of him doing the honourable thing.
On a serious note, the inability of the Ombudsman to make any orders on the Football League does call into question the validity of his terms of reference, and the Football Supporters Federation is quite rightly calling for these to be reviewed.
The report concludes that “a resort to the IFO does not preclude a complainant from taking subsequent legal action. The Huddersfield supporters still have the option, either individually or collectively, to seek compensation from Blackpool through an action in the Small Claims Court.”
HTSA is already looking into this option and it will be the main agenda item at the HTSA board meeting on January 21, 2016.
On January 19, HTSA representatives will be meeting with Sean Jarvis and Nigel Clibbens. If you have any issues that you would like to be raised, contact Ian Lawrence through the HTSA-online website or Trev Whitehead (details follow).
So a busy start to the New Year, but before then there are two away games to enjoy as well as a trip to Brighton on January 23.
HTSA are offering: QPR, Bolton and Brighton for just £50, QPR and Bolton for £27, QPR and Brighton for £44 or Bolton and Brighton for just £31.
Telephone Rachael on 07905 580784 for more details and to reserve your seats. Terms & conditions will apply.
Offers are open only to HTSA members who have booked and paid for their seats before the end of Thursday December 24.
All travellers on the HTSA coach can enjoy as many as nine separate chances in the HTSA Travel Draw, worth £250 to the lucky winner.
Today’s Examiner Free Draw number is, (1)6325. If your HTSA membership card shows this or (135)6325 you have won £250. Send details of your full name and postal address by text to 07725 036109 or by email to email@example.com before 19.08 on Saturday, December 26. You will receive your cheque by return of post.
The winning number last week was (2)3261 or (246)3261. The winner, G Tetley, did not claim the £250. Names of all previous Free Draw winners, can be found on our HTSA-online website.
And finally, the season’s greetings and best wishes to all Town fans from HTSA.