In 2003, after years of corporate mismanagement, Huddersfield Town Association Football Club entered into administration and teetered on the brink of financial ruin. Faced with a swarm of creditors and outstanding debts of around £20 million, it looked as though the three-time champions of England were headed for the history books.
But if those history books tell us anything, it’s this: the people of Huddersfield like those kinds of odds. And so, armed with nothing but their Nokia 3210s and a vague sense of hope, a group of determined supporters set about the small task of conjuring a modern-day miracle.
They called themselves the Huddersfield Town Survival Trust, and with the help of thousands of their fellow Terriers, they managed to raise enough money to keep the club afloat until a new owner could be found.
The Huddersfield Town Supporters Association was born out of the experiences of the administration period. Its founding members, several of whom served on the committee of the Survival Trust, realised early-on that the long-term future of the club depends on the existence of a strong, independent body of supporters who are committed to holding the Board and ownership to account.
Today, the club is in the safe hands of a lifelong fan, Dean Hoyle. Thankfully, his commitment to the club is not in question, nor are his leadership qualities. When Mr Hoyle first took the reins at the Galpharm Stadium, as it was known back then, he said that he would listen to and work with HTSA.
As ever, he was true to his word. HTSA and the club have had a positive working relationship during the Hoyle-era, and from the All Together Town (ATT) Panel to the North Stand Loyal initiative, both have got a lot to show for it.
But that doesn’t mean that we are about to rest on our laurels. In an age of £100 million transfer fees and £40 tickets, it’s more important than ever for supporters to have a voice; and that voice is always louder and more effective as part of a chorus.
As a HTSA shareholder, you can be part of that chorus — one that includes the Football Supporters’ Federation, Supporters Direct, and Football Supporters Europe — and together we can make sure that 2003 remains the last time a question mark appears after the name Huddersfield Town.