Ken Davy

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Kenneth Ernest Davy (born 1941) is an English businessman. He is the chairman of the rugby league club Huddersfield Giants and former chairman of football club Huddersfield Town. He was also the Conservative Party candidate for Huddersfield at the 2019 General Election.

Career[edit]

Davy grew up in Filey on the East Coast of Yorkshire. He left school at 15 with no academic qualifications and worked as a photographer for P&O. At 21 he set up a commercial photography business in Huddersfield before joining Abbey Life in 1971. In 1979 he formed the independent financial advice company DBS, which he sold in June 2001, for £75 million. In 2003, he set up SimplyBiz, providing development, research and marketing services to financial advisers.

In 2011, he gave his views on the changes happening in the financial services industry "Restricted advice will prove much less attractive than many organisations believe. I can see why life insurers would be attracted to it, because it is a way of increasing their profits, but it does nothing for consumers or advisers."[1] However, he later launched a national Restricted (rather than Independent) advice firm - Sandringham Partners in 2012, backed by £2m from SimplyBiz.[2]

Huddersfield Giants[edit]

In 1996, Davy took over as chairman of Huddersfield Giants rugby league club. In 1999, he merged Huddersfield Giants with Sheffield Eagles, a move which resulted in the formation of the Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants. It was an unpopular move with supporters, and after one season the club reverted to being the Huddersfield Giants.

During Davy's chairmanship Huddersfield Giants went from being a Second Division club to a Super League force, competing in semi finals and finals. The club were promoted to the Super League in 1998, and despite being relegated in 2001, the team came straight back up in 2002 and won the 2002 Northern Ford Premiership remaining unbeaten throughout the league season and play offs, and winning the Buddies Cup. Only 4 years later, Huddersfield Giants played St. Helens in the 2006 Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. It was the first time that Huddersfield had reached the final since 1962. That was followed up with another Challenge Cup Final appearance, this time losing to Warrington Wolves at Wembley Stadium in 2009. In 2013 the Giants won the League Leaders Shield , after a 40–0 victory over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, It was the first time a Huddersfield team had topped the table in 81 years. They were also Challenge cup semi finalists in 2004 and 2012 losing to St Helens and Warrington again, respectively, as well as making the Super League play offs semi finals in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Huddersfield Town[edit]

Davy led the successful consortium, out of three interested, that took over Huddersfield Town in 2003, when they were in administration following the collapse of ITV Digital and Town's recent relegation to the Football League's bottom tier. As part of the takeover Huddersfield Town's 40% share in the ground was transferred to a holding company, Huddersfield Sporting Pride Ltd. Huddersfield Sporting Pride Ltd holds a 60% stake in the Huddersfield ground with the combined original stakes of the football and rugby club, the other 40% stake is owned by Kirklees Council.

In September 2006, he was criticised for failing to offer Town a significant transfer budget for the 2006–07 season to enable the club to build on their play-off position of the previous season. The budget, which was unspecified, was (according to former manager Peter Jackson) already used up on signing just two players, goalkeeper Matt Glennon and striker Luke Beckett despite the release of several players. However, Davy stated that Jackson was given the opportunity to strengthen his squad in order to mount a drive for promotion. This was not utilised and Jackson's "inability to attract key players" was one of the reasons given by Davy for the manager's dismissal.[3]

After Huddersfield's 2–3 loss to Yeovil Town on 16 September 2006, he addressed a peaceful demonstration of around 100 Town fans who had called for him to up the transfer budget or go, because of Town's poor start to the season in Football League One, in which they only picked up nine points from the first nine games.

On 3 June 2009, he handed over the chairmanship to Dean Hoyle and, after a brief period of retaining a minority shareholding, relinquished all ownership in Huddersfield Town.[4]

He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Huddersfield and an Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute.[5]

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