Huddersfield go up with Newcastle and Brighton

Huddersfield's players and manager David Wagner celebrating the club's historic promotion to the Premier League.
Huddersfield's players and manager David Wagner celebrating the club's historic promotion to the Premier League.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Huddersfield Town's historic promotion to the Premier League after a penalty shoot-out win over Reading on Monday proves dreams come true, said their ecstatic chairman Dean Hoyle.

The 50-year-old - who sold his chain of greeting card stores for a reported £350 million (S$623 million) in 2010 - sat in shock at Wembley before celebrating after Christopher Schindler's successful spot-kick sealed their place in the top tier of English football for the first time.

The game went to penalties after the match ended 0-0 following extra time with the Terriers grabbing their place among the elite with a 4-3 win.

Fittingly for a team who became the first in Football League history to be promoted with a negative goal difference, Huddersfield needed penalty heroics to go up.

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Their promotion will be worth at least £170 million across the next three seasons, and that figure could rise to more than £290 million if the club avoid relegation next season.

"I'm so emotional. To say I've been supporting this club since 1969, to be a Premier League team now - dreams come true," Hoyle told Sky Sports. "It's huge what it means for Huddersfield, we're on the big stage."

Hoyle, who has been on the board since 2008 and chairman and majority shareholder since June 2009, said it showed clubs did not need to spend big to gain promotion - their payroll is just £12million.

"It proves you don't have to blow your brains to get promoted. We've done it the right way," he said.

Huddersfield manager David Wagner, who was greeted with scorn when Hoyle plucked him from his role as Borussia Dortmund's reserve team coach in November 2015, said he was delighted the team had disproved the critics.

Ian Holloway, ex-television pundit and now Queens Park Rangers manager, had labelled Huddersfield as relegation candidates.

"A lot of the pundits wrote us off," said Wagner. "What happened is an unbelievable story - a fairy tale."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Huddersfield go up with Newcastle and Brighton'. Print Edition | Subscribe