Sunday 18 August 2019

Dean Hoyle to step down as Huddersfield chairman after decade in charge

Hoyle helped Huddersfield reach the Premier League during his decade as chairman.

Dean Hoyle became chairman of Huddersfield in 2009 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Dean Hoyle became chairman of Huddersfield in 2009 (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Mark Walker, Press Association Sport

Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle has reached an agreement to sell the club to lifelong Terriers fan Phil Hodgkinson.

Hoyle, 52, will stand down after 10 years as chairman with the takeover expected to be completed later this summer.

Hodgkinson, founder and chief executive officer of Liverpool-based PURE Business Group, will leave his role as owner and director of National League North side Southport.

“My heart doesn’t want me to sell the club and I believe the Manchester United game will probably be the most emotional day of my life,” said Hoyle, whose club play United in their final game of the season on Sunday.

“However, my head is telling me that, after 10 years of total dedication and my recent ill health, I need to do what is right for myself, my family and Huddersfield Town and that is pass the reins to a new chairman who can take our club to a new chapter in its history.”

Huddersfield’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed in March, while Hoyle revealed in February he had endured a lengthy battle against pancreatitis.

“I have run a full sales process and there was serious interest in the club from around the world,” he said.

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Dean Hoyle led Huddersfield’s Premier League promotion celebrations in 2017 (Richard Sellers/PA)

“Appointing the correct successor is as important to me and my legacy as everything else I have achieved.

“I have chosen Phil not just because he is an astute businessman with strong desire and determination to succeed, but because as ‘one of our own’ he will always have the club’s best interests at heart. He’s a Town fan and he really gets what this club is all about.

“I still cannot believe that my time as chairman is coming to an end. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every single Huddersfield Town fan for their incredible support of my family and me during the last decade.

“We’ve had an unbelievable time together with the club, creating memories that will last a lifetime.”

Hoyle has presided over the club’s most successful period in over 40 years.

He became Huddersfield’s majority shareholder in June 2009 and completed his takeover the following March when he bought the remaining shares from former chairman Ken Davy.

During Hoyle’s ownership the Terriers won promotion from League One and defied all odds to reach the Premier League via the play-offs in 2017.

Hoyle will retain a minority stake in the club and Hodgkinson will become chairman with 75 per cent controlling ownership.

“I will be delighted and proud to be able to take the position as the new chairman of Huddersfield Town,” Hodgkinson said.

“As a lifelong Town supporter, it will be a special day for me and my family.

“I must thank Dean Hoyle, not just for the way he’s conducted himself throughout this process but for what he has done for the club over the past decade.

“He’s totally reengaged the supporter base and has made elite football available to the masses. In football, I believe it’s incredibly rare to have that scenario when you arrive as a new chairman.”

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Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League by beating Reading in the play-off final at Wembley in 2017 (Nick Potts/PA)

Hodgkinson’s PURE Legal were Huddersfield’s shirt sponsors for two years from 2015.

“Town is in my blood and has always been one of my greatest passions,” Hodgkinson added. “I’m so excited to have the opportunity to take this club forward.

“My number one priority is to give every support I can to Jan Siewert in order to make us as good as we can be on the pitch.

“Our aim is to get back to winning football matches and to put smiles back on the faces of our supporters after a tough season.

“The club has got a very busy summer ahead of it, for sure, but I will be a hands-on owner and fully focused on trying to ensure we get the best start possible to next season.”

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