Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League will enhance Yorkshire’s global profile as we move towards Brexit, according to a senior figure at the Institute of Directors.
Economists and business analysts also predicted that the club’s return to the top flight after a 45-year absence will provide a major boost for local pubs, hotels, and restaurants, and could also encourage inward investment.
The Terriers booked their place in the Premier League via a dramatic penalty shoot-out triumph over Reading at Wembley on Bank Holiday Monday.
Jonathan Oxley, the chairman of the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire and the Humber, told The Yorkshire Post: “English Premier League football is a big business with a global audience. As we leave the European Union our region needs to cultivate and maintain a high profile across the world.
“There couldn’t be a better time for Huddersfield Town to reach the top flight, where they will ideally be followed by Leeds United next year.”
Iain Clacher, an associate professor at Leeds University Business School, said the promotion to the Premier League was likely to provide a significant boost to both the club and the local economy.
Mr Clacher added: “For the club side, it has been estimated that they will receive around £170m, and this could be as much as £290m if they remain in the Premier League. Although this will be spread over a number of years, it will change the club forever if the money is carefully managed and stewarded.
“Promotion will see the club playing some of the biggest names in football and so it is also likely that there will be investment in the local economy.”
Clair McGowan, the associate director at the CBRE office agency team in Leeds, said: “The town being marketed around the world via the global Premier League can only help to put Huddersfield, and the wider West Yorkshire region, on the map.
“In turn, the knock on effect can offer great economic potential for the area from commercial property to tourism.”
Chris Allen, the managing partner of Leeds-based law firm Blacks, which has a sports law team, said that he could foresee a strong increase in hotel and restaurant bookings throughout the season, as away fans arrive in Huddersfield.
He added: “Every hotel room occupied, and meal or drink sold, brings additional finance into the region.
“Busier hotels and restaurants need more staff to cope and more supplies to meet demand. This is good news for potential employees and good news down the supply chain. Success breeds success.”
Mr Allen said that the club’s chairman Dean Hoyle had to manage expectations and a vastly larger budget.
Mr Allen said: “These are nice problems to have, and problems I am sure he can cope with.”
Dr Michael Nolan, a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Hull, said that the club’s Premier League status could also raise Huddersfield’s profile as a potential business location, and encourage more people to move there for work.
Matthew Wells, the divisional director of Brewin Dolphin in Leeds, predicted that promotion to the Premier League will bring a sense of pride to Huddersfield, and could generate demand for hotels and lead to further developments around the stadium.
“The club does lots of work in the local community,’’ he added.
“I feel the good work will continue on that side.”
A leading lawyer has predicted that Huddersfield Town will earn a place among the top 35 clubs in the world in terms of revenue, as a result of promotion to the Premier League.
Peter McCormick, the Yorkshire lawyer who has done a stint as acting chairman of the Premier League, said the economic benefits will start with the club, flow out to the town and then out to the wider region.
Mr McCormick said that Premier League status would bring intangible benefits, such as the “buzz” it brings to the town.
Mr McCormick also believed that the Terriers’ success could provide a boost for the housing market, as footballers started to snap up property in the area.
He added: “Football tourism can provide a huge boost to the town. The ground will sell out every week. It‘s a wonderful thing for the town, particularly Huddersfield, which is owned by a local boy made good (Dean Hoyle).”
Mr Hoyle is a life-long Town fan who also established the greetings card business, The Card Factory.