Historic day for Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Town can confirm it has today completed a landmark agreement that sees a return of a 40% stake in the John Smith’s Stadium.
Huddersfield Town has acquired a 40% shareholding in Kirklees Stadium Development Limited (KSDL) for £1.
KSDL owns the award winning, iconic 24,500 capacity John Smith’s Stadium together with a long leasehold over nearly 50 acres of adjoining land, incorporating a swimming pool, offices a golf driving range and parking for over 1,000 cars.
The new deal comes almost 10 years since the Club saw its shares transferred away after it fell into Administration, following the failure of ITV Digital.
Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle commented:
“This is a great day for the Club, its supporters and me. I’m sure there will be many very happy fans at this news.
“It is important that I thank, personally and on behalf of the Club, everyone involved with the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association (HTSA), the ‘Fight For Answers’ group and the ‘Lime Green Army’ campaigners for their tireless support on this issue. There is a long list of passionate supporters who relentlessly fought for the return of the shares, particularly Marcus Middleton, Bob Pepper and Steve King.
“The leader of Kirklees Council accepted that Huddersfield Town needed to return to the heart of the stadium ownership in order for it to flourish and that this would only come with a return to the original ownership model of 40/40/20, which served the parties so well up to 2004. I would like to thank the Council for its support - in particular Leader Mehboob Khan and CEO Adrian Lythgo, who worked very hard to make this happen.
“The £1 share buyback finally reverses the £2 sale from 2003 but has also been accompanied by the cash repayment of £2 million of old loans to Ken Davy. This is funded by me and now means Ken will have been repaid all the cash he ever put into the Club except for £487,000 which is still to be settled in future.
“The original vision for the Stadium as a jointly owned and managed asset with strong community focus was totally compromised. The stadium needs the backing of the football club, our fans and partners so it can prosper.”
Crucially looking forward, the Chairman continued:
“This has been a long and tough road for everyone and lessons need to be learned. I now plan to put the Club’s shares in KSDL into a charitable trust to ensure no future owner or Huddersfield Town Board can ever again separate the stadium interest from the Club. Details will be made public so everyone knows fully what is going on.
“We can all now look forward to a new start with great optimism. It is a landmark day for the Club and one I’m sure will be welcomed by everyone. This is another step forward for our Club, the Stadium and our Community and a proud moment for me.”
More detail will be released via htafc.com in a future feature report.