Huddersfield Town have confirmed that the weekend's match against Manchester United will be their last at the John Smith's Stadium with chairman Dean Hoyle at the helm, having finalised the sale of the club to Phil Hodgkinson.
Hoyle has helped guide the club up the leagues and into the Premier League – where they have played their last two seasons of football – and will remain on the board of directors for next season's Championship campaign.
📣 CLUB STATEMENT— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) May 3, 2019
📝 Sunday’s game against @ManUtd is set to be the final home fixture of Dean Hoyle’s decade-long tenure as #htafc Chairman, with a commercial agreement in place with Phil Hodgkinson for the sale of the Club.
➡️ https://t.co/3mPFPaOPmD (AT) pic.twitter.com/dZjr4LsOvf
Terriers fan Hodgkinson is the founder and CEO of the PURE Business Group, who have sponsored the club for a number of years. He will step down his position as owner and director of National League North side Southport.
In a statement on the club's website, Hoyle said: “My heart doesn’t want me to sell the Club and I believe the Manchester United game will probably be the most emotional day of my life. However, my head is telling me that, after 10 years of total dedication and my recent ill health, I need to do what is right for myself, my family and Huddersfield Town and that is pass the reins to a new Chairman who can take our Club to a new chapter in its history.
“I have run a full sales process and there was serious interest in the Club from around the world. Appointing the correct successor is as important to me and my legacy as everything else I have achieved. I have chosen Phil not just because he is an astute business man with strong desire and determination to succeed, but because as ‘one of our own’ he will always have the Club’s best interests at heart. He’s a Town fan and he really gets what this Club is all about.
“I still cannot believe that my time as Chairman is coming to an end. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every single Huddersfield Town fan for their incredible support of my family and me during the last decade. We’ve had an unbelievable time together with the Club, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
“I’d also like to thank every member of staff at the Club, in particular my Board of Directors. We have some amazing people behind-the-scenes who have dedicated their lives to Huddersfield Town and I know their dedication and skill will be a big asset to Phil moving forwards.”
Hodgkinson added: “I will be delighted and proud to be able to take the position as the new Chairman of Huddersfield Town. As a lifelong Town supporter, it will be a special day for me and my family.
📝 Completion of the sale, which will see Hoyle retain a minority stake in the Club, with fellow lifelong #htafc fan Phil Hodgkinson stepping into the role of Chairman and taking 75% controlling ownership, will be subject to approval from the relevant football authorities.— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) May 3, 2019
“I must thank Dean Hoyle, not just for the way he’s conducted himself throughout this process but for what he has done for the Club over the past decade. He’s totally re-engaged the supporter base and has made elite football available to the masses. In football, I believe it’s incredibly rare to have that scenario when you arrive as a new Chairman."