Huddersfield Town Has Gained The Respect Of People From Minority Backgrounds
Mohammed Bhana, Huddersfield Town Football Ambassador
When I was a member of the Premier League media advisory committee – I remember speaking candidly to Richard Scudamore about how much publicity I had secured for a top four club.
Granted, I was given a platform to do things my way and everything went swimmingly.
I had achieved many things from securing a major commercial deal to having completed a book, interviewed world cup winners – I was even nominated for an award – such was the hype and I left when no one wanted me to go.
However, when I got involved with Huddersfield Town – things were different.
The Terriers were in The Championship, playing some decent football, but the empty seats around the stadium was something I could not comprehend as it was evident – the club had some serious potential.
You only have to look at census information that has been collected by Kirklees Council to realise that the Black and Asian communities combined total a massive 25 per cent of the local population, with the Asian population in particular, making up 19 percent.
Town’s Commercial Director, Sean Jarvis was very keen to invite people from all backgrounds to the club, therefore, I decided to take the Huddersfield Town message to the local and national ‘ethnic’ and mainstream media – and the results thus far - have been phenomenal.
Thanks to the coverage in ethnic media and the hard work undertaken by staff at the club and the foundation, Town are perceived as a club that has gained the trust of people from minority backgrounds.
Myself and Sean took part in a piece on BBC Radio Leeds show a while back, and it was great to see that the presenters acknowledged the fact that Town had found a way attract a plethora of fans from different backgrounds.
This was evident during the Liverpool match; I was sat in the Directors box with my eldest boy, whilst Mrs B decided to sit in the Fantastic Media Stand with our youngest boy.
We met after the match, spoke about how the game had gone, drove home, and put the kids to bed.
What she did not tell me however, was the number of fans from diverse backgrounds who could not believe she was joining in with the Huddersfield Town fans in belting out a number of deeply accented feminine renditions of Town songs.
I heard from a friend, that a group of regulars had told the many pockets of Asian boys and men: “She’s a regular here, we all know her, her son cries at half time during every match, and we all try to keep the young ‘un entertained,” before acknowledging her once again with a nod.
When I asked her about it, she simply said: “They all knew who I was, because of you, and they just kept on telling me about how they are also
considering becoming regulars.
“I just had to tell them to either be quiet or join the rest of the scousers in the away end, as they wouldn’t let me watch the game in peace.”
The big clubs used to win everything, and since they had the best players and the most coverage on T.V, smaller clubs did not have a chance back in the day.
Times have changed however, and fans from diverse backgrounds have a soft spot for Huddersfield Town.
What started out as a hobby has now turned into a passion for my two children.
What everyone loves to hear, is the fact I am not a big football fan as such. I don’t watch any football on T.V, I just like the business model – because we operate in a very similar fashion in my role at Kahn Design.
|Also by Mohammed Bhana...|
|Sean Jarvis: Huddersfield Town Is The Challenger Brand Of The Premier League|
|Why Huddersfield Town Is A Global Brand With A Great Image|
|Elias Kachunga, Danny Williams And Michael Hefele: 'Show Racism The Red Card'|
|How Huddersfield Town Are Bringing Communities In ‘One Of The Worst Regions For Integration And Community Cohesion’ Together|
|Huddersfield Town’s Rise To The Premier League Could Boost The Local Economy By £27 Million|
At Liverpool, I achieved a great deal, earned my privileges and made some money – then walked away with my head held up high, truth be told, they were really good to me and my book takes pride of place in the club’s museum.
However, I have a great deal of respect for what Huddersfield have done for my 9-year-old son, Adam, who is now thriving at school thanks to some extra tution along with his love for Town.
He’s not been to a match for a couple of weeks – so he will be hoping for 3 points against Crystal Palace....
Here’s to another season in The Premier League and may the fan base continue to grow!
Huddersfield Town Has Gained The Respect Of People From Minority Backgrounds, 16th March 2018, 10:06 AM