Dean’s thoughts ahead of the 2022/23 season getting under way
- An Update from the Board of Directors in July 2022
- CEO Dean Hoyle discusses the start of the 2022/23 campaign
- Dean also details the Club’s financial position, among other topics
We’re on the brink of the 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship season, and I cannot wait for Friday’s home opener against Burnley!
It’s been a very short summer, especially as our season was extended due to the Play-Off campaign, but everyone at the Club is ready and raring to go for the new season.
Ahead of Friday evening's match, it feels right to update you on the latest events at the Club.
Firstly, the process of acquiring back 100% of the shares in the Club is still ongoing. It’s simply that these things take time. For example, you must apply to the Financial Conduct Authority when there is a change of control in a Club, and there is a backlog following the pandemic. What I can say is that it has not impacted negatively on the day-to-day running of the Club; I’m at the John Smith’s Stadium and the Millers Oils High Performance Complex daily and its simply business as usual. I will update you all on any significant changes on the process when they occur.
I do feel it’s important to clarify the Club’s financial position, as I’m aware there has been a lot of conjecture on the matter recently.
It’s been well documented that I came back into the Club last October. Since then, to this day, I have put an eight figure sum into the Club. That has covered the Club’s ongoing costs and has straightened out legacy club creditor payments that were overdue.
Without any player trading, the Club – with its current wage bill – stands to lose circa £10 million per season. That figure has gone up since I was last 100% owner and the Club was in the Championship because of the additional staffing, resource, and general Premier League-standard setup at the Millers Oils High Performance Complex. I have no issue with that at all, because we’ve seen the benefit of it on the pitch.
There are different options to mitigate that loss. We could increase prices of items such as Season Cards, we could reduce the wage bill or reduce the costs of the First Team provision at the training ground.
However, I’ve decided not to take any of those options because we don’t want to reduce ‘bums on seats’ and we want to be as competitive as possible on the pitch. In order to be as competitive as we saw last season with a low wage bill, we have to maintain the support structure, staffing and wider support network at the training ground and the increased costs that brings. That all goes hand-in-hand. This is our model.
As a result, we must mitigate those costs by trading players. We already had guaranteed money coming in over the next four years from the sale of Karlan Grant, and now we have additional funds over the same period from the sales of Lewis O’Brien and Harry Toffolo. That will take the Club’s annual losses down to around £5 million per season over the next four years, without any further sales or incoming transfers.
Without any further player trading, that is the amount I must put into the Club. When that money needs to be put in during the season is always fluid, and dependent on our cash flow, but that will be the final figure.
I want to be very clear with this next point – the idea that we sell players only to reduce the level of my loans is totally incorrect. The level of my loans today is the same as the season before we gained promotion to the Premier League, which is not an insignificant sum.
As an owner, this is my duty to the Club - and my will to do so.
It’s also important to reiterate that this club will always be one that trades players, in and out. It needs to be to service the football costs that will allow us to be competitive at this level.
As the person at the top, I do not - and cannot - make decisions in order to be popular. It is my responsibility to make decisions that are the best ones for Huddersfield Town. A good example of such a decision was the change we made to our Academy in September 2017; we knew it would not be immediately well received, but I believe we are now seeing the benefits of that change.
That sets out the financial position at the Club. You don’t have to simply take my word for it either – it will all be spelled out in black and white in the Club’s accounts. With that, I 100% believe that we can be extremely competitive in the Sky Bet Championship, as we saw last season!
In terms of the Club’s ambition moving forward, last season has set the standard for us. We all understand that football, particularly in the Championship, has ups and downs season by season, but it is our aim to be in and around the upper echelons of the division. That should be the aim of every team in this division when the first game comes around.
Since I last penned one of these updates, Carlos Corberán has left the Club and Danny Schofield has been appointed our new Head Coach. When someone in this position leaves, there will always be speculation – but there is nothing more I can say that wasn’t said when he made the decision to leave. I believe Carlos thought he couldn’t take us any further than he did last season. On the other hand, I – along with everyone here – believe that we still have the potential to go further. I genuinely wish Carlos all the best for the future.
I firmly believe the squad is well set for the season ahead, but we will never stop looking at ways to keep improving within our means. We’ll support Danny, the staff, and the players as much as we can as we aim to keep our standards as high as possible, beginning with Friday night’s home opener against Burnley at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Your support of the team will be as important to any success we have, as is always the case! When the first whistle goes on Friday, please get right behind the players. You all know how far our collective #TerrierSpirit can carry us, and we cannot lose sight of that. The number of you who have bought Season Cards for the new campaign is magnificent – and I cannot thank you enough for that – and we’ll need every single Town fan once again this season.
That’s it for now, other than to thank you one final time for your support. We couldn’t hold any of the old ‘Q&A’ sessions over the last 18 months due to the pandemic, but I plan to bring them back once the season is under way, probably from October. I look forward to seeing many of you then.
Thanks for reading – see you on Friday.
Dean Hoyle will be a guest on BBC Radio Leeds' Huddersfield Town preview show, airing between 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday 26 July 2022
Get your ticket for Friday night's season opener against Burnley - click HERE to buy online now!