TOWN’S new owner-in-waiting Dean Hoyle today told the fans: “Back us to the hilt on season-ticket sales.”
The club’s new chairman-elect and prospective owner believes he can drive the club on in partnership with Ken Davy.
But he stressed they need big help from supporters when the season-ticket deal is announced tomorrow.
Mr Hoyle, whose takeover will become complete after next season’s centenary, hopes Town will be playing to regular crowds of at least 14,000 as they celebrate 100 years.
The 40-year-old lives in the Spen Valley with wife Janet and sons Daniel, 11, and Joshua, six, and is a lifelong Town fan.
“We are on the verge of something very exciting at Town, but it’s up to the fans to get behind the board,” said Mr Hoyle, founder and managing director of £110m-turnover Card Factory.
“Our new manager is going to be in for a very busy summer when he’s appointed, with 16 players out of contract and extra funding in place to enable him to re-shape the squad.
“That work has to be done because, like Luke Beckett said last week, two years of mid-table mediocrity doesn’t tell a lie.
“Ideally I would like to see our new-look team playing to crowds of 13,000 and above all the time. If we can hit the ground running come the start of the season in August then so much the better.
“It doesn’t always happen and things can take time to gel – like at Doncaster this season – but nobody can be shot for trying. Our aim, as we’ve said, is to get to the Championship as quickly as possible.”
Mr Hoyle, the chairman and the board will start interviewing for Andy Ritchie’s successor as manager next week from a shortlist of six.
Mr Hoyle added: “I’m passionate about Town because the club has been my life for a long number of years and I want to see that same desire in the manger and the team.
“Our first aim is promotion, and I firmly believe that when we achieve it we have to be ready to step up, not just on the football side but the whole club.
“Once in the Championship a different plan will have to come in to drive the club on from there.”
So can Town seriously push to become a Premiership side under Mr Hoyle’s chairmanship in the next few years?
“If you dream beyond the next stage then you are not addressing the short-term issue of where you are now. But I like a challenge!” he answered.
“When we get to the Championship the thought process has got to be different again and you’ve got to be radical again to push things on.
“The one thing for certain is that we are in the wrong division now – lock, stock and barrel – and it can’t continue.
“I’m a very passionate Town fan and I’m a very lucky lad to be able to get involved, but the bottom line is that we need bums on seats.
“The more bums on seats from next season onwards, the more cash in the till. And the more cash in the till, the more investment there is for the club; so it’s a win, win situation.”
While keen to help pay for progress Mr Hoyle – a regular supporter for over 30 years – says the club will not be held to ransom financially and the Academy will continue to have a big role.
“It’s been proved time and again that ‘living the dream’ doesn’t pay and that football clubs can’t be regarded as black holes down which to pour money. The best clubs don’t have black holes,” he said.
“Budgets have to be stuck to and managed. We are not going to lose the plot or lose sight of our goals.
“We have to be well run all the way through, just like Blackburn are in the top flight. They know exactly where they are, they’ve got a fantastic manager, a great youth structure and they don’t live beyond their means because they are run attractively as a commercial concern.
“That’s what we have to aspire to, and I believe the Academy is vital to our club.
“We have a fantastic Academy set-up which is the foundation. It’s important because it has been our success story in the last few years and you can’t have too many of those.
“The Academy is something to be proud of.”