TOWN'S prospects both on and off the field are, as ever, a major talking point among fans. Here, the club's chief executive, ANDREW WATSON, provides an update in question-and-answer form.

WHY can't we afford to spend £100k on signing a player?

WE will not be in the transfer market at that type of level, until two things have happened.

Firstly, we have to clear the debt owed to the players from the 2002-03 relegation season and, secondly, when that is achieved we need to build our income to such an extent that there is spare cash.

You physically need the cash in the bank to pay it out and at the moment Huddersfield Town has no spare cash.

Not only have we not got spare cash, such a transfer would then involve wages that the club cannot afford.

We will not build this club on the practices that took it to financial ruin, on the field ruin and to the brink of obscurity.

We have made that clear from day one and 99% of fans agree with that.

There is no way they want to go back to 2002 and 2003 and even worse now, administration results in a 10 point deduction.

On the positive side, the `new' football business model allows you to build a team on `Bosmans' - very few clubs spend on players now - and for the clubs that have them, football Academies.

Our Academy is top class. I watched our under 18s, along with Gerry Murphy, at Nottingham Forest on Saturday morning, eight Academy-produced boys in the first team at Milton Keynes on Saturday afternoon and, on Sunday morning, watched our Under 9s, 11s and 13s against Newcastle United.

We won two of those three games and up at Newcastle we won two out of three games from the under 10s 12s and 15s.

There is Academy talent right throughout the ages. Peter, Gerry and all the football staff have produced a talented young squad which augurs well for Huddersfield Town.

Peter has had the courage to give so many of the Academy graduates their chance in the first team.

HOW much is still owed to former players?

THIS is the crux of the problem.

It has cost Town almost £400,000 this season in payments to the former players which is a huge amount of cash.

We inherited (July 2003) a debt of £1.4m owed in unpaid wages to the players from the 2002-03 relegation season. We had to take on the terms of the PFA deal with a programme of payments for six years and also `accelerator' payments, so that a third of any extra cash (cup runs, play offs, transfer fees) had to go to speed up the payments.

A mixture of this and settlements with players last season reduced the debt to £525,000 by June 2004. It now stands at £160k.

In just over a year from now the debt will be gone altogether, which is great news. However, next year's budget will come down to building on the income streams so that we can start to build a profit and spare cash. In the meantime, it is still a big cost to the club.

WHAT is our debt?

WE inherited the £1.4m in unpaid wages and a loan of £1.15m over 20 years was agreed as part of the rental arrangements with Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd for us to play at the Galpharm.

Ken Davy invested £1m in share capital and loans when he rescued the club in 2003. A part of this was used to purchase the assets of the club and provide the working capital needed for the day to day running.

Without this, we wouldn't have survived last season.

WHAT has happened to all the extra cash we have had such as the play-offs, Jon Stead's sale and the 12,000 gates?

AS explained earlier, a third of this has gone to the ex-players. The rest has been used to pay the clubs costs.

Even with that we made a loss last year. We budgeted for gates of 11,900 this season and planned to make a small profit. At the moment we are averaging 11,600, so it will be nearer `break even'.

Away support at The Galpharm has been particularly disappointing so far. We have also had a few schools promotions to boost the attendance, such as the 1,500 who attended last week against Luton, with the majority paying just £2.

CAN we see the club's accounts?

THE accounting information will be filed at Companies House each year, as required by law. The turnover in 2003-2004 was £3.5m and the loss was £192,000.

The chairman will also add a statement to this to add more detail (it was published in the Examiner and is available on

We won't show more detail than this, as no club does, because much of the information, such as wages, is obviously sensitive.

WHAT has happened to the spare cash in Jacko's wage bill?

THERE is still some there, that is what we used to loan Luke Beckett from Sheffield United, which is not inexpensive with him coming from a Championship club.

uite a bit of it was also used to sign Rachubka and the Clarke brothers on improved contracts.

ARE we bankrolling the Giants?

NO, Town and Giants are separate companies, each of whom retain and use their own cash to cover the costs.

Make no mistake, though. Neither would be here without Ken Davy propping up their losses.

Both now have to be built to live on their own income and the bigger that is from all sources the better they will do.

HOW do Town and the Giants work together?

KEN DAVY, Ralph Rimmer and myself are directors of both clubs and we have worked on several mutually-beneficial projects.

For instance, the Box Office, Superstore, Sporting Pride shop and Under 7s schemes are all joint projects.

We are also working on a joint training ground. Along with the stadium company, Town and the Giants are continually looking at increasing the income for the benefit of all the parties.

WHAT are our prospects?

THE club has an exciting future.

It has superb supporters, staff and board.

We have a manager in Peter Jackson and football staff passionate and committed to the cause.

We have signed many of our players on two-year contracts.

We have a top quality Academy director in Gerry Murphy, his staff and quality players at all levels.

The young Academy products in the first team will have another 30-40 games and another year under their belt by the end of the season.

We have a quality Community department that is developing our future support, bringing thousands of children in contact with the club, the shirts for seven-year-olds scheme, the schools ticket promotions and cheaper season-tickets for Under 13s which cost under £2 a game.

The club is run properly and we set a goal in 2003 of being a `top 30 club by our centenary in 2008', thinking it would take us two years to get out of the bottom division.

We are on schedule.