Fashion faux pas sums up uncertain times at Huddersfield Town

A DAY that began with Huddersfield Town supporters suspecting they were the butt of an elaborate prank by the club’s shirt sponsor ended with them none the wiser as to whether an abhorrent new kit was genuine or not.

Sash of the day: Huddersfields players sport the clubs controversial new kit. (Picture: Huddersfield Town)

In terms of gauging how the Terriers will fare on their return to the Championship, the 1,000 or so fans who made the short hop across the Pennines to Rochdale were left similarly befuddled.

Jan Siewert’s men, sporting the ‘sash’ kit emblazoned with Paddy Power that had brought such ridicule on social media earlier in the day, produced a mixed bag of a performance in triumphing 3-1 against the League One outfit.

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Town’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time was an impressive affair, Elias Kachunga’s bullet header following excellent play out wide by Alex Pritchard giving Dale goalkeeper Brad Wade no chance.

Jonathan Hogg and new signing Josh Koroma also finished in clinical fashion when netting in quick succession just after the hour.

Equally, though, any repeat of the defending that allowed veteran striker Ian Henderson to open the scoring with a free header early on will surely be punished time and time again in the second tier.

Too many promising first-half opportunities for the visitors in and around the home penalty area also broke down, invariably thanks to a misplaced pass or poor decision making.

This and much more will need working on as the countdown continues towards a season that seems harder to predict for Town than any of their Yorkshire peers.

New owner, relatively new head coach and a squad that club insiders insist will take three transfer windows to get into the desired shape means 2019-20 really could go any one of several ways for Huddersfield.

Throw in Phil Hodgkinson, the new majority shareholder, revealing earlier this week how the £250m that accompanied two years in the Premier League has already been swallowed up and these are interesting times.

What most will surely admit after the travails of the past year is how restoring a sense of pride is paramount at a club where supporters remain stoically loyal, more than 18,000 season tickets having been sold despite the John Smith’s Stadium witnessing a paltry two home wins last term.

Whether yesterday’s kit stunt – and surely it is a stunt, with closer inspection of goalkeeper Schofield’s green top suggesting the white sash that made him more resemble a Thunderbird was being held on by sticky tape – is the best way of achieving that goal is debatable.

Town’s fans were certainly not impressed, taking just a couple of minutes to register their disapproval. “Stand up if you hate the kit,” they sang about a shirt that is understood to contravene FA rules on sponsorship.

The FA has also asked the Terriers for their observations about the new kit.

“The FA has clear kit and advertising regulations for all club matchday kits,” an FA spokesperson said.

“If we believe that any club has breached these rules we will look into the matter and, if required, will take the appropriate action.”

FA rules state a playing kit is only permitted to have “one single area not exceeding 250 square centimetres on the front of the shirt”.

The verdict on what happened on the pitch was more generous. They know, though, that what happens between now and the transfer window closing on August 8 is likely to decide how Huddersfield fare.

Hodgkinson, after revealing the Premier League cash bounty had been used on transfers and wages over the past two years, told a fans forum earlier this week that the club is under no pressure to sell.

Nevertheless, with the likes of Aaron Mooy, Terence Kongolo and Christopher Schindler all attracting interest from elsewhere, for now Town remain very much a case of ‘watch this space’ in terms of how the campaign will pan out.