Hodgkinson’s FA Charge Won’t Derail Takeover

Hodgkinson’s FA Charge Won’t Derail Takeover

Prospective new owner Phil Hodgkinson has been slapped with an FA misconduct charge but is still set to complete his takeover of Huddersfield. The case relates to 99 bets Hodgkinson placed on games between September 2015 and February 2019, during which time he was a football agent and a director of non-league club Southport.

The matter could have derailed his Huddersfield purchase, as “participants” in the game are prevented from betting on football, but it is understood the matter has effectively been closed and Hodgkinson’s takeover should be approved at the English Football League’s annual general meeting in Portugal later this week.

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Last month, shortly after the club’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed, the Terriers’ current owner Dean Hoyle announced his plan to sell a 75-per-cent stake to Hodgkinson. Hoyle explained he was giving up control of the club after a decade because of ill health but he also said he believed Hodgkinson was the best candidate to build on his legacy.

There has been a sizeable delay in takeover talks since Hoyle outlined his desire to sell to Hodgkinson and the reason for the takeover being put on hold has now been revealed with the chief executive of legal services company Pure Business Group having been charged by the FA in April and then facing a subsequent hearing.

The result of that hearing, which took place last month, was that the FA panel accepted that Hodgkinson was not aware of the ban until it was brought to his attention, the bets were small and they were not on games or clubs in Southport’s league. It is also understood that Hodgkinson told Huddersfield about the case at the outset of talks with Hoyle and has kept them informed of the situation throughout.

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