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AN UPDATE FROM CEO MARK DEVLIN

11 March 2021

Town’s Chief Executive issues the Club’s monthly update

- An update from Chief Executive Mark Devlin
- Latest of the monthly updates from the Board
- Read last month’s UPDATE from Phil Hodgkinson HERE

It has been a month since our Chairman Phil Hodgkinson issued a lengthy update on matters at the Club, and I wanted to apprise our supporters of the latest at Huddersfield Town.

Over the last week, I – alongside many of my colleagues, from the Chairman to other Board members and our staff – have spoken with the ‘All Together Town’ working group in the latest of our four meetings a year, as well as representatives from the Cowshed Loyal group.

We know that there will be some decisions we make which some fans may not always agree with; that is always going to be the case. However, gaining the trust of our fanbase is important, especially in the tough times, and we will work hard to improve our communication with supporters, at all levels. Fan consultation is vital, as it has been to this Club for years, and I found the meetings – and the feedback from them – extremely useful. I want to thank every supporter who took the time out of their evenings to meet with us.

Let’s be quite clear - even before those meetings, we recognise and understand the frustration among our supporters currently. Indeed, it is shared by the staff here, many of whom have been Town fans for life. Not only are you still unable to attend games and have now spent a full year away from the John Smith’s Stadium due to the pandemic, but we’re now on the fringes of a relegation battle.

There was lots of frank conversations and constructive criticism in the meetings and we are taking it all on board. The whole point of those fan panels is for the attendees to be critical friends, and to represent our fanbase as well as possible in the things that matter to them. In the end, everyone on those calls just wants the best for Huddersfield Town.

I am pleased that iFollow has proven much more robust since the start of the season, but I know it is no substitute to being at the games. It’s incredible that none of you have been able to watch the team live under Carlos Corberán, and I know he is relishing the opportunity to experience a match day with you in the ground.

In the interim, our staff are constantly trying to come up with ideas to allow you to interact with the Club and its key figures. ‘Boothy’s Beer & Banter’ is one such initiative, with supporters attending the live events on an evening with Andy and other club legends. We’ve also recently launched a B Team skills series to try and keep some of our younger fans engaged, and it is great news that they have returned to school this week.

It’s also a real positive that we now have a roadmap to work towards from the government, and the recent announcement that the next EFL season will start on 7 August 2021 gives everyone a date to look forward to. We are trying to establish the exact details, but we’re working towards a full capacity allowance come that date. We will do everything we can in the right and safe manner for when we can be all together again under the arches of the John Smith’s Stadium, the home of Huddersfield Town.

Along those lines, we recently made our first announcement on Season Cards for the 2021/22 season. More detail will follow soon. We’re currently working on the prices and timings for supporters who are not eligible for the price freeze renewal, and hope to be able to confirm those for you soon.

It goes without saying that Season Card sales are one of the most important sources of revenue for the Club, and I want to go on record again to thank our 2020/21 Season Card holders for their incredible support and understanding. We’re continuing to think of ways that we can reward your loyalty, and we will do some things to thank you in due course.

Our Season Cards offer some of the best value in the Championship. We know that it’s vitally important to us all that we continue to offer our supporters good value on Season Cards. This is something that has worked well for the Club for several years now, and not something we are about to change.

Another vital element of our financial sustainability is to maximise and significantly improve our commercial revenue. Our new Commercial Director, Ian Birtley, has had a good start on that front in securing the back-of-shirt sponsor for the rest of the season and you may also have noticed the recently installed advertising banners in the Core Stand. The big item on that agenda is the front of shirt sponsorship for 2021/22, and we’re making encouraging progress on that front too. Developing our commercial partnerships and revenues is critical work for the Club. The more commercial profit we can generate, the more can be invested into the squad.

I also must mention the Huddersfield Town Foundation, which continues to carry out vital work across our community that deserves as much attention as it can get. You can read all about our community engagement on htafcfoundation.com. The roadmap to leave lockdown is also giving the team the ability to convert some of that work from remote to in-person delivery, which is really encouraging.

That work requires fundraising, and the Foundation’s latest fundraising event takes place on Friday evening – the Big Sleep Out. Sadly, this is another activity that must be held remotely this season, as opposed to the participants bedding down in the John Smith’s Stadium, but it still promises to be a great fundraiser for our charity. Please check out the detail HERE and donate if you can do so.

The key activity takes place on the pitch, as ever, and we head into a vital final 11 games of the season at QPR on Saturday looking for the results that can maintain our Sky Bet Championship status. None of us want to be in this position, but I believe the squad has shown the appetite for the battle in the last two games without getting the win that we targeted. It’s been encouraging to see some of the injured players back on the pitch in training and for the B Team this week, and that should bolster Carlos’ options as we head into this vital period.

Everyone at the Club is doing everything we can to give Carlos and the players every support we can to be successful on the pitch.

Thank you once again to every Town supporter for your support, on behalf of everyone at the Club; it’s truly appreciated.

Mark Devlin
Chief Executive
Huddersfield Town


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