Phil Hodgkinson resigns as Huddersfield Town chairman with former owner Dean Hoyle set to take back control

Chairman Phil Hodgkinson has resigned from the Huddersfield Town board and is to sell his shares to his predecessor Dean Hoyle.

RESIGNING: Phil Hodgkinson has stood down as chairman
RESIGNING: Phil Hodgkinson has stood down as chairman

It was under the leadership of Heckmondwike-born Hoyle that Town had some of their greatest times since the days of Herbert Chapman, spending two seasons in the Premier League.

He handed over to fellow fan Hodgkinson as majority shareholder in June 2019, who increased his stake to 75 per cent.

But his other businesses ran into trouble late last year, with a number going into administration in November.

At that point Hoyle, who owns the remaining 25 per cent, resumed financial responsibility for the club, taking over as interim chief executive executive after the departure of Mark Devlin in December.

In a statement, the Terriers said: “The club can today confirm that Phil Hodgkinson has decided to step down as a director of Huddersfield Town in order to focus on his other business interests.

“At the same time Dean Hoyle and PURE Sports Consultancy Limited (owned by Phil Hodgkinson) are in discussions for Dean to re-acquire the shares held by PURE Sports in HTAFC.

“Completion of any agreement to acquire these shares will be subject to agreement, and the required third-party consents, including from the EFL.”

Hoyle joined the board in April 2008, taking over as chairman and majority shareholder the following summer. The club were a mid-table League One side at the time but they won the 2012 play-offs and the inspired decision three years later top appoint David Wagner as coach saw them do the same in the Championship in 2017 playing an exciting brand of football.

Hoyle was in poor health when he passed on 75 per cent of his shareholding to the club to former Southport chairman Hodgkinson following the club's relegation from the Premier League.

There followed a painful period of readjustment as the club adjusted to some of the excesses of their two seasons in the top-flight and two years of Championship relegation battles followed. Captain Jonathan Hogg is now the only player left from the Premier League squad.

There were rumours in the new year that former Ipswich Town chairman Marcus Evans was interested in buying a stake in the club, but these have come to nothing.

In spite of Hodgkinson's financial problems, the club are having an excellent season and are third in the Championship, albeit they have played more games than any sides in the top 11.

They are also in the fifth round of the FA Cup, drawn away to Nottingham Forest, who they beat in December.

In January the Terriers were able to sign free signings Carel Eiting and Jamal Blackman, as well as loaning highly-rated midfielder Tino Anjorin from Chelsea. They were also able to keep their best player, midfielder Lewis O'Brien, having resisted interest from Leeds United in the summer.