Examiner Column – 14/01/2016.  Trevor Whitehead

 

At the end of 2015 Ian Lawrence, the HTSA Chair, paid a visit to Huddersfield Town Ladies Football Club.  Representatives from the ladies club were special guests at the HTSA AGM and, as a thank-you, Ian was there to hand over a sponsorship cheque to Sarah Dobby.  He was then treated to a real goal feast as the ladies went on to beat Dronfield 17-1 with Sarah getting her name on the scoresheet.  This Sunday, 17th January, HTLFC will be playing Bradford City LFC – so why not get along to the ‘Mitton Group Stadium’ (BD2 1PN) and give the Town ladies your support?

On Tuesday night, in the game against Charlton Athletic, the Town ‘lads’ did their best to emulate the free-scoring ‘lasses’.  A 5-0 score-line, David Wagner’s mix of uninhibited youth and his unorthodox tactics really got supporters buzzing with expectation.  Besides the feel-good, ‘psychological’ benefits most academics define sporting success in terms of skill, speed, stamina and suppleness.  There is no doubt that all five S’s are now in evidence, each week, at the John Smiths’ Stadium.  However, as social media went into overdrive, many Town fans recognised that there is still a crucial sixth ‘S’ missing from the David Wagner formula for Success.  “Support!”

On Facebook Matthew Balmforth wanted to know, “Where were all the Huddersfield Town supporters tonight?”  He also asked, “If Wagner’s gengenpressing, ultimate fitness, fast, attacking, sexy-type of football can’t put bums on seats then how do we expect to strengthen the team with even more quality players?”  Encouragement from the terracing does make a massive difference.  Let us ALL get behind the lads and help them to find that extra bit of “energy”.

Once again the HTSA rallying cry is backed up by some fantastic offers for those intending to travel to; Preston NE (£11), Nottingham Forest (£11), Derby Co (£11), Leeds Utd (£9), Middlesbrough (£11), Blackburn R (£10) or Rotherham Utd (£9).  Terms & conditions will apply.

Book any 3 of these fixtures and travel for just £30, 4 games for £39, 5 games for £47, 6 games for £54.  If you feel that Dean Hoyle and David Wagner’s version of ‘Total Football’ are worthy of total support why not book on for all 7 games for just £60, this represents a saving of £23 on the non-members fare!  Book your seats by texting Rachael on 07905 580784 or by calling in at the HTSA Cabin on your way to the Fulham game this Saturday.

£250 awaits the HTSA member who holds the following numbers, [X]XXXX**.  If your HTSA membership card is up to date and shows this, or [XXX]XXXX**, £250 is yours.  Please send details of your full name and postal address by text to 07725036109 or by email to trevwhitehead@virginmedia.com before 19:08 on Friday, 15th January 2016.  You will receive your cheque by return of post.  The winning number last week was [2]6361, or [246]6361: the winner, J Binns, did not claim the £250.  Names of all winners of the Free Draw can be found on the HTSA-online website.

Due to the Emirates Cup replay against Reading HTSA representatives have re-arranged their meetings with Sean Jarvis and Nigel Clibbens for Tuesday 20th January.  If you have any questions, concerns or BOUQUETS that you would like to share with them please contact Ian Lawrence through the HTSA-online website or Trev Whitehead (details above).

**Winning numbers for this week will not be published until Thursday 14/01/16.

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What the Dickens!

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  But the revolution that has witnessed David Wagner’s induction at Huddersfield is finally showing glimpses of the consistency that we had hoped for in last week’s column.  In “A Tale of Two Clubs” there have been hard times, and some uncertainty along the way, with West Ham United managing to clip Klopp’s gegenpressing aspirations.  Jurgen’s ears must have been burning on Saturday as the Town faithful celebrated victory, and a clean sheet, by affirming in chorus, that David Wagner really is “the best man”.

 

Er ist besser als Klopp

er ist besser als Klopp

David Wagner, er ist besser als Klopp

 

“It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope”.  It was most certainly an enjoyable start to the New Year for those supporters fortunate enough to buy a limited edition match ticket.  After such an accomplished away performance it is important that supporters now do their bit to make sure that the effort being shown on the pitch is matched by the volume of “its noisiest authorities”.

 

On the subject of travel to away games HTSA would like to pass on our thanks, and the thanks of our regular travellers, to Jeanette Kenworthy who has reluctantly decided to step down as our Coach Steward.  Jeanette stepped into the role, several years ago, at what was a very difficult time.  She has been a regular, reliable and trustworthy presence ever since.  It will not be easy to find a replacement but the search has now started.

 

With only three long distance trips remaining the second half to the season promises to have plenty of affordable opportunity for travelling supporters.  Look out for some great, pay in advance, offers on multiple bookings to; Preston, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Leeds, Middlesborough, Blackburn and Rotherham.  Quotes for any combination of games can be obtained by texting Rachael on 07905 580784 or by calling in at the HTSA Cabin on your way to the Reading game this Saturday.

 

The winners of the Free Draw on the coach to Bolton were A.Kirk (£250), J.Morrison (£125) and M.Greig (£62:50).  Unfortunately none of the winners were present on the coach so the 1st prize on our next away trip will remain at £250.

 

We apologise that shortage of space meant that last week’s Examiner Free Draw did not feature.  So a further £250 still awaits the HTSA member who holds the following numbers, [2]6361.  If your HTSA membership card is up to date and shows this, or [246]6361, £250 is yours.  Please send details of your full name and postal address by text to 07725036109 or by email to trevwhitehead@virginmedia.com before 19:08 on Friday, 8th January 2016.  You will receive your cheque by return of post.  The winning number on Christmas Eve was [1]6325, or [135]6325: the winner, M Whitehead (no relation, as far as I am aware), did not claim the £250.  Names of all previous Free Draw winners, can be found on our HTSA-online website.

 

And finally a reminder that HTSA representatives will be meeting with both Sean Jarvis and Nigel Clibbens on Tuesday 19th January.  If you have any questions, concerns or BOUQUETS that you would like to share with them please contact Ian Lawrence through the HTSA-online website or Trev Whitehead (details above).

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A Moral Victory

All Town fans will remember the last game of the 2014/15 season when the Terriers travelled to Blackpool FC only to see the game abandoned following a pitch invasion.

This led to the FA fining Blackpool FC for the abandonment – but there was no recompense for the supporters.

This was followed by the Football League’s ‘Football Disciplinary Committee’ issuing an extremely critical report about Blackpool FC’s handling of the match – but still there was nothing for the supporters even though the League proposed such a course of action.

We then heard from the Independent Football Ombudsman who, initially, said that the matter was beyond his remit.

Far from being content with this HTSA continued to press the case for a review and finally Professor Derek Fraser (IFO) agreed to look at the complaints he had received.

Now he has issued his report (http://www.theifo.co.uk/adjudications.html) acknowledging the twenty pages of evidence provided by HTSA.  His report makes it crystal clear that Town supporters deserved far more than they got.

It is worth reading the report in full (only 14 pages) to get a sense of just how critical the Ombudsman has been.  To whet your appetite here is a flavour:

“….the IFO believes that the supporters had a sound case and the IFO is surprised that a compensation order was not made by the Commission”.

One cannot escape the conclusion that an opportunity was missed to recognise the legitimate interests of supporters as against the financial well-being of the Club”.

The IFO then asserts yet again that he “believes that the travelling Huddersfield fans had a sound case for compensation which fell on deaf ears”.

Will the Football Association and the Football League be willing to listen now?  The IFO even goes as far as to recommend “that the next time Blackpool hosts Huddersfield Town in a Football League fixture, it offers complimentary tickets to all travelling Huddersfield supporters.”  So here is hoping for an early ‘Seasiders’ promotion as well as a big thank-you to Karl Oyston in anticipation of him doing the honourable thing.

On a serious note the inability of the Ombudsman to make any orders on the Football League does call into question the validity of his terms of reference and the Football Supporters Federation is quite rightly calling for this to be reviewed.

The report concludes that a resort to the IFO does not preclude a complainant from taking subsequent legal action.  The Huddersfield supporters still have the option, either individually or collectively, to seek compensation from Blackpool through an action in the Small Claims Court.”

HTSA is already looking into this option and it will be the main agenda item at the HTSA board meeting on 21st January 2016.  On 19th January HTSA representatives will be meeting with Sean Jarvis and Nigel Clibbens if you have any issues that you would like to be raised please contact Ian Lawrence through the HTSA-online website or Trev Whitehead (details follow).

So a busy start to the New Year but before then there are two away games to enjoy as well as a trip to Brighton on 23rd January.  HTSA are offering:  QPR, Bolton W & Brighton for just £50, QPR & Bolton for £27, QPR & Brighton for £44 or Bolton & Brighton for just £31.

Please phone Rachael on 07905580784 for more details and to reserve your seats.  Terms & conditions will apply.  Offers are only open to HTSA members who have booked and paid for their seats before the end of today, Thursday 24th December.  All travellers on the HTSA coach can enjoy as many as nine separate chances in the HTSA Travel Draw, worth £250 to the lucky winner.

Today’s Examiner Free Draw number is, [1]6325.  If your HTSA membership card shows this or [135]6325 you have won £250.  Please send details of your full name and postal address by text to 07725036109 or by email to trevwhitehead@virginmedia.com before 19:08 on Saturday, 26th December.  You will receive your cheque by return of post.  The winning number last week was [2]3261 or [246]3261, the winner, G Tetley, did not claim the £250.  Names of all previous Free Draw winners, can be found on our HTSA-online website.

…and finally the season’s greetings and best wishes to all Town fans from HTSA.

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First we had the FA fining Blackpool for our abandoned match  -  but nothing for supporters.

Then we had the League’s Disciplinary Committee issuing a very critical report on Blackpool’s handling of the match  -  but still nothing for supporters.

Then we had the Ombudsman saying that it was outside his remit.

Not content with that, HTSA continued to press the case for a review and finally Professor Derek Fraser agreed to do that.

Now he has issued his report ( http://www.theifo.co.uk/adjudications.html ) which makes it crystal clear that Town supporters deserved more than we got.

The HTSA Board is now discussing the best way of taking this forward and notes with some satisfaction the IFO’s comment in his conclusion about the Small Claims Court.

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