On March 23 2023 Huddersfield Town released a short but significant statement that in the fullness of time will change the football club forever.
The Terriers have announced that an unnamed North American-based consortium will now take full ownership of the club by the start of the 2023-24 campaign.
In recent days there have been rumours, speculation, conjecture and – frankly – a lot of flannel across the sphere that is social media about the sale of the Terriers.
The rumour mill swung day by day from a Dutch group of businessmen to a bloke in Scotland who seemingly may not exist. However, Dean Hoyle the current owner of the club has finally decided to sell to an American consortium.
This isn’t, by all accounts, the same Americans in John Jay Moores and Charles Noel who tried to buy Nottingham Forest, Swansea and Premier League club Everton. Albeit they were apparently interested in buying the John Smith’s Stadium side.
So the first question that needs answering is, who exactly are these Americans? Secondly, what is the deal that has been done? Thirdly, how does this affect Canalside, which is owned by Dean Hoyle himself privately?
And, lastly, what are the plans for the stadium? A national newspaper article claims that Dean Hoyle is prepared to walk away from Town writing off £40 million of debt, yet this wasn’t mentioned in the statement put on the club’s website.
That statement read: “We can confirm that Dean Hoyle has completed a deal to acquire the remaining 75% shareholding in Huddersfield Town from Pure Sports Consultancy. As a result, Dean Hoyle now owns 100% of the shares in the Football Club.
“Simultaneously, Mr Hoyle has exchanged contracts with a North American group on a sale of the 100% shareholding in Huddersfield Town. Completion is subject to legislative and governance procedures.
“We will give more information to supporters as soon as these procedures have been completed.”
The significance of this statement and sale cannot be doubted, it will be the first time a non-British company or individual has owned the club.
It also ends the near on four years of chaos that has seemingly reigned at the top of our club. With staff arriving and leaving quicker than the current Conservative government, it will be nice to calm the waters in the boardroom.
It is right that whilst we reflect on Dean Hoyle’s time at the club, that we do acknowledge that mistakes have been made. It is also right to condemn any personal abuse aimed at Hoyle and previous owner Phil Hodgkinson.
However it is also correct to thank Hoyle for his stewardship of the club and without that we could have been looking at a very different Huddersfield Town.
The fact that once all the governance and legislation is sorted it will be a clean break for both Hoyle and the club I can only think is a positive thing.
With information thin on the ground about the Americans it will be interesting to see what their overall plan is for the club in the coming months.
All this has been happening in the background with the primary focus dealing with matters on the pitch. After a week of positive results under the management of Neil Warnock, the miracle worker is doing all he can to save our skins in the SkyBet Championship.
Town currently sit 22nd in the table and three points off safety with eight games to go. The lift provided by this announcement to the whole club – plus the fact we have Warnock in charge – could mean the miracle of survival could happen.
If you’d told me in January that we’d have new owners announced in March and Neil in charge and be only three points off safety with eight games to go I would have said you were crazy. Now, it might just be a crazy thought to think Warnock & Co can pull off the greatest of great escapes.
The sale announcement finally gives us as a fan base hope to cling onto for the rest of this season. So with the boardroom sorted, let’s hope Mr W. can drag his squad – kicking and screaming if necessary – out of the bottom three and to safety.
If that happens we can maybe – just maybe – dream again. Ooh to be a Terrier…