Huddersfield reconsidering John Smith’s Stadium plan

Huddersfield Town chief executive Dean Hoyle has revealed that the Championship football club is in negotiations with Kirklees Metropolitan Council and Super League team Huddersfield Giants over the long-term ownership structure of John Smith’s Stadium.

The two clubs share the stadium, which is operated by Kirklees Stadium Development Limited (KSDL). The clubs and the council jointly run KSDL but Town’s previous chairman Phil Hodgkinson had proposed a model through which the football team would assume effective control of the stadium.

The Huddersfield Examiner reports that Hodgkinson’s proposal would see Town oversee the running of the stadium as part of a 25-year rolling lease. The move would have seen John Smith’s Stadium placed into a trust and the proposal was designed to allow the club to invest more money into improving the venue.

Following Hodgkinson’s recent resignation from Town’s board of directors in November, Hoyle has taken on his responsibilities. Hoyle has now suggested that the previously reported proposal had not been in the best interests of Town.

Speaking during a recent All Together Town meeting between club officials and supporter representatives, Hoyle said that Town is “engaged in negotiations” with the council and the Giants to find a “long-term solution that balances the interests of all shareholders”.

Hoyle added that one of the most pressing matters is to ensure that the stadium’s capital expenditure requirements for the next five years are met. Hoyle is also in the process of recovering Hodgkinson’s 75-per-cent shareholding in the club.

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