DEAN HOYLE admits he’s excited about Town’s hot promotion chase and beamed: “We’ve got a lot to play for.”
Town head to Yeovil on Saturday with the chance to go second in League I following the well-earned 1-0 away win against Hartlepool.
Manager Lee Clark has orchestrated an unbeaten league run of 12 matches since New Year and Hoyle has pledged to continue investment both on and off the pitch.
His three major objectives remain to get Town into the Championship, to regain their share in the Galpharm Stadium and to develop the £5m Canalside training ground project as a legacy for future generations of supporters and the community.
“You’ve got to be excited about where we are,” said the chairman.
“We are handily placed, other results are going for us and we need to take advantage, just like we did at Hartlepool.
“If we can put a decent run of wins together, even though it won’t be easy, then we can push ourselves right up there.”
Click on Page Two to find out about Dean's three ambitions for Huddersfield Town as well as his legacy for his hometown club.
DEAN HOYLE plans to protect the Canalside training ground for future generations of Town supporters as his legacy to the club.
The chairman revealed the first phase of the £5m development at the old Syngenta complex off Leeds Road will be to create two Premier League-standard pitches – one exactly the same size as the Galpharm surface – for the start of next pre-season training.
From then on, with Kirklees Council approval, he’s keen to oversee the creation of a top-quality club headquarters alongside community facilities which can generate cash on a daily basis.
“I had no real intentions of getting involved with the club a few years ago but then I took a look at things again and thought I could make a difference,” he said.
“There were three main objectives, really.
“Firstly I wanted to bring Championship football to Huddersfield Town, secondly I wanted to address the stadium shares issue and, thirdly, I wanted to create a training ground where all our playing squads could be in one centre.
“We’ve now got one of those three and, hopefully, we can tick off the other two.”
At the moment, Town have no stake in the Galpharm Stadium under arrangements put in place before Hoyle took charge, but negotiations are ongoing to seek a reinstatement of the club’s 40% shareholding.
Town are already operating some departments out of Canalside while manager Lee Clark plots the League I promotion challenge, and Hoyle believes the complex should be made the best it can possibly be.
“We have a footprint for Canalside but these things take time with needing council permission and planning and you can’t just get under way,” he added.
“The ambition is to get the academy and first team all under the same roof and, straight away, we want to get two quality football pitches down there for the start of pre-season.
“Let’s face it, the players spend a lot of time away from the stadium, so we need to make Canalside as good as possible for them – not just for now but to enable us to attract top-quality players in the future.
“The training ground is a legacy I want to leave for the future. In 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years time it would be nice to look back and say that myself and the board helped to put Canalside together and that it’s a great facility.
“The problem in Huddersfield is that there are two many hills, which restricts where we can have a facility of this kind.
“We are thankful to Syngenta for doing a deal with us, because they also wanted to leave something to the town, and we see it as a win win situation.
“And it will be protected for the future, of course it will.
“It’s the football club’s and, while I’m going to be the landlord, I’m a Town fan through and through.
“It’s me that pays for it because I finance the football club and going forward, whether it’s through a trust or whatever, it will be the football club’s for years and years and for all the generations of fans to come – that’s the way it should be.”
It’s a Jack Walker-style plan which Hoyle hopes will develop with Town established at a higher level.
“Jack Walker had more money than me!” he smiled. “He did very well for Blackburn Rovers but I don’t want to be the big saint here.
“I saw things where I could hopefully make a difference, like improving the playing squad, working on the stadium shares and the Canalside project – and I think we have done very well in acquiring one of the best sites in Huddersfield for the training ground, not just for the club but for the community.
“We need to keep all the sporting facilities down there and develop them for the community so that we’ve got something which will generate income on a daily basis, which can then go to the club.
“Going forward, that facility is something we are all looking forward to seeing grow.”
Click onto Page Three to find out about how much Town is costing Dean and why he'd rather be a fan than a chairman.
CHAMPIONSHIP football would help Town become self-sufficient financially.
That’s the objective of chairman Dean Hoyle, who remains committed to paying the League I club’s bills and funding a playing squad capable of winning promotion but, at the same time, retains a realistic approach about what lies ahead.
“I would still prefer to be a fan than a chairman,” said Hoyle.
“All my mates are across in the Kilner Bank, which is where I would rather be, and I do get frustrated – maybe I’m too much of a fan sometimes as a chairman – but my heart is in the right place and I’m trying to do my best.
“As I’ve always said to anyone I’ve employed, nobody gets shot for trying, but I am wise enough to know this is a honeymoon period for me that will come to an end.
“At the end of the day, I don’t really want to put pots and pots of money into this club, I really want to make it self sufficient – and that can be achieved in the Championship.
“It is going to cost me a lot of money to get there, but if we don’t get there this year we will have a go next year and it will cost me a bob or two then, but hopefully Championship football can be sustainable.”
Hoyle believes Town could cause a few surprises in the higher division as well.
“I’m looking forward to giving the people of this town and the surrounding area different teams to watch,” he explained.
“I know all the chairmen in League I so well that they are inviting me for Christmas dinner, so we have been here a long time and we need to move on.”
The boardroom chief confirmed Town continue to haemorrhage cash.
“The cup run and the Arsenal game helped and made us a lot of money and we’ve brought in a couple more players (Danny Cadamarteri and Stephen Jordan),” he said.
“We are losing money but, to be honest, that’s my choice.
“If I wanted to cut the wage bill back to £1.5m we would be losing nothing, but I don’t see where that would get us.
“It’s my money that’s doing it, it’s not debt or anything, and it’s my choice to do it that way because this is my passion.
“Some people like to go to the pub for a drink, I like to come here and support the football club.
“We have the talent here to achieve what we want to achieve and we all want success – I want it, the board want it, the players and fans want it and Lee Clark wants it. So we’ve just got to do it now and, hopefully, we will.”
Click on to Page Four to find out what the chairman thinks about adding new faces before the loan deadline closes.
TOWN are stronger now for a promotion push than they were a year ago.
And Dean Hoyle will fund further loan signings if manager Lee Clark needs them before this month’s deadline.
The chairman said: “I’m excited because we are handily placed and, with a decent run of wins, we can push ourselves right up there – even though it’s not going to be easy.
“This is a tough month and, over the next four weeks, we will see who is going to be up there challenging and who is not.
“We are obviously still going strong for automatic promotion but, if we get pipped for that and end up in the play-offs, then I think we are a much stronger unit to progress.
“No-one has a divine right to promotion, you have to earn it, but I do think we are stronger this time around.”
On funding, Hoyle added: “Lee (Clark) has my full backing. He is happy with the squad which has done so well since the turn of the year and not really looking to bring in too many new faces, but we’ll see what happens.
“I think Danny Cadamarteri has done brilliantly since he’s come back, we have just signed what seems our 40th left-back in Stephen Jordan – which allows Kevin Kilbane to retain his best role in midfield – and we are happy the squad have what it takes to grind out the results that we need.”