Chairman Dean Hoyle says Huddersfield Town are desperate to increase home crowds because they’ll struggle to survive in Championship football with current gates.
Speaking ahead of the clash with Nottingham Forest, he asked fans at a PPG Canalside whether they would prefer cheaper tickets in future or more invested in the playing squad.
The vote was two thirds for investment in the transfer market and Hoyle explained: “We’ve won four in 24 and been playing some dire football, so our ‘walk-up’ is going down and our home numbers are going down.
“We can’t afford to have 500 fewer people turning up per match each year – against Bolton there were 9,500 home supporters in the stadium and that’s too low for us to survive in Championship football.
“Rightly or wrongly the club needs a shot in the arm and we need to get fans back.
“Next season there will be increased money from the Football League and we have to make a choice – do we give some of that money back to the fans and have discounted season-tickets or do we use some of it to invest in the playing squad.
“Maybe next year we put a proportion to spend on the playing squad and wages and maybe give a bit back on season-tickets – not matchday tickets – and maybe start pushing it from January all the way through.
“We need to understand what’s working and what’s not.”
Hoyle said pressure remains on the Academy to produce players for the first team, and emphasised there is money to spend if the right players become available in January.
Middlesbrough have a 20% sell-on clause on Jacob Butterfield, who cost Town £300,000 and will cost Derby over £5m all told, while Town have a 20% sell-on with Adam Clayton, who they sold to Middlesbrough for £1.7m
“We always have to balance between transfers coming in and bridging trading losses, but we are always planning ahead and there’s always money available if the right players come on the market for this club,” said the chairman.
Hoyle explained Joe Lolley isn’t getting in the team right now because he can’t displace Sean Scannell and he may have to go out on loan in the short term to get games and continue his development. Hoyle stressed Town want Lolley at the club long term because he’s “a fantastic player with great potential”.
The chairman added that James Vaughan’s proposed move to Wigan Athletic had fallen through because Town didn’t want to pay half his wages, but confirmed Vaughan would vie for selection again when he has recovered from a calf injury.
Hoyle received a report from the Supporters Association saying they were appealing to the Independent Football Ombudsman over the Blackpool ruling not to compensate travelling fans