Town needs a little time

HUDDERSFIELD Town supporters are calling on Kirklees Council to do all it can to restore the football club’s shares.

And councillors are asking fans to give them a little more time to get things straightened out.

As reported last week, Town fans are staging a protest to get Huddersfield Giants owner, and the Terriers’ former chairman, Ken Davy to return his shares to the club.

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Members of the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association (HTSA) spoke to councillors at a full council meeting last week.

Secretary Robert Pepper said a joint community venture between the council, Huddersfield Town and the Giants was set up to create the Galpharm Stadium, home to Town and the Giants. Shares of 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent were given out respectively.

Mr Pepper said when the football club went into administration in 2003 Mr Davy took control to safeguard the future of its stadium and transferred his shares, now worth 60 per cent of Galpharm and for which he paid £2, into his own company, Huddersfield Sporting Pride. The deal made him the majority shareholder.

He said two years ago Mr Davy agreed to return the shares to new Town chairman Dean Hoyle, but talks collapsed last month.

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Mr Pepper asked councillors to ‘lift the veil of secrecy’ concerning the initial transfer of shares, and work with the stadium to return to the former shares agreement with Town and the Giants.

Responding to the HTSA deputation at yesterday’s meeting, council leader Mehboob Khan confirmed the council would do all it could for the benefit of the stadium and Huddersfield supporters.

Coun Khan said the stadium project was an innovative private and public partnership to bring a derelict area of the borough into use.

“The principle was that no one single owner would have a majority of the shares,” he said.

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“When Ken Davy stepped in to the take Huddersfield Town out of administration, preserving the future of Town and the stadium, that was the only deal on the table. Without it, Town would not have been saved.

“Now, nine years on the council and the clubs are in a very difficult financial position.”

Coun Khan said the council would welcome a speedy agreement between Mr Doyle and Mr Davy, allowing the partnership to reorganise the financial agreement.

He added: “I and the rest of the council can assure you that we believe the original ethos of ownership, representing 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent shares, must be returned as soon as possible.

“This council will never turn its back on supporters of Huddersfield Town Football Club. Fans need to give Dean Hoyle, Ken Davy and the council the time and opportunity to move things forward.”