Things We Think We Think #103

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1. Seriously, City, this “Hull Tigers” thing is becoming a major worry now. We are called “Hull City AFC”, a name we’ve grown rather fond of over the past 109 years, and our nickname is the “The Tigers” (note the definite article), which is probably the best nickname in English football. Clumsily fusing them is not wanted and not needed.

2. Yet, the drip drip drip of “Hull Tigers” continues, most recently as part of e-mails from the club imploring us to buy the new away kit in the middle of last week, and owner Assem Allam calling us The Hull Tigers on Radio Humberside. If the man truly cares what fans of the club feel then he hides it pretty well calling the club that, appearing so disconnected from supporter opinion about club identity as to be autistic. Once again, we appear to be being slowly softened up to accept a completely unacceptable rebrand of the club.

3. In March, Nick Thompson complained bitterly (and genuinely) about being City fans being the victim of a fait accompli from West Yorkshire Police. He would do well to recall the grievously unfair nature of that, and how it made him feel, and then resolve not to inflict something similar upon us. He said at a FLAG meeting that only the business side of the club will be Hull City Tigers, but our owner keeps referring to the club without even City in the name. Ultimately Nick Thompson is an employee of the Allams and has to comply with their wishes, but we hope he tells our owner in explicit terms how opposed supporters are to a rebrand, no matter how minor. Some have suggested that ‘Hull City Tigers’ will be easy to market in Asia, but Asia knows us as Hull City, from our previous Premier League exploits and having played a high profile round of games in Beijing in 2009.

4. Is there nobody in the newsroom at the Hull Daily Mail who has sympathy with (or just a bit of knowledge of) the game of football? Calling the opening game against Chelsea (and other League games) a ‘tie’ is the mark of someone totally unsuited to writing about football, even from a news-based angle. Ties apply only to knockout Cup competitions. And any sub-editor who let that idiotic error through needs to self-flagellate too.

5. That opening game means we won’t be anywhere except Sky TV on the first weekend of the new season, just as we were four years ago. Same venue too. The speculation now, dull but real that it is, centres on whether we’ll get a Saturday lunchtime or a Sunday late afternoon as Sky forgets we exist in order to vocally fellate the returning Portuguese behemoth of Stamford Bridge. The game is ages away yet and already we’re imagining just how invisible everyone associated with Hull City will be on the day!

6. Though we’ll get the odd Monday night when Sky sift through the games to cherry pick their choices, the general absence of evening games in the Premier League is a surprise. Just one at home so far feels odd.

7. That is perhaps because we’re used to the Championship scheduling, which combines a 46 match season with regular international breaks. With eight fewer games, night matches will go from being a regular occurence to something of a treat.

8. A thought: though ticket prices for Premier League games are significantly higher, the fact that there are four fewer  away matches is often overlooked. Those two things probably don’t cancel each other out and it seems probable that someone going to every away game will pay more in the top flight (not surprisingly really), but the gap in the overall cost of going to games may not be quite as high as often grumbled about.

9. The Official Supporters’ Club has been running a poll lately asking about goal music at the Circle. We’ll assume this appeared just as something to talk about during the summer rather than anything more worrying, but it’s gratifying to see that (at the time of writing) a solid 88% are against it. Its introduction at City would be too ghastly for words. And yes, we bang on about this. With apologies to Thomas Jefferson, the price of proper goal celebrations is eternal vigilance.

10. Happy birthday Chillo. Forever to be our greatest goalscorer and our greatest youth product. This finest of fine men of City’s past is 70 tomorrow and remains an icon of our club and a total gentleman. Keep an eye out for an Amber Nectar tribute to him.

17 replies
  1. BristolJim
    BristolJim says:

    “Asia knows us as Hull City, from our previous Premier League exploits and having played a high profile round of games in Beijing in 2009.”

    Really?

  2. Cumbria Tiger
    Cumbria Tiger says:

    I shall be writing to the chairman to say that I support “Hull City” and I use their nickname “The Tigers”. I shall ask him for total assurance that we will continue to be HULL CITY.

    Others may wish to do the same – a few mailbags of letters landing on his desk may help him understand the strength of feeling.

  3. Andy
    Andy says:

    A quick straw poll last week (of a mate of mine out in Thailand) reported that whilst football fans in Thailand & Vietnam are indeed aware of Hull City, he has yet to see a Hull City shirt being worn by a local.

    They know us but they’re not prepared to spend any money on us.

    Will being called “Hull Tigers” make any difference to commercial revenues from the Far East? Who knows?

    Actually, I think I know 2 people who think it will….

  4. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    If ‘Asia’ does know of Hull City – and it’s a pretty massive if – then it is (along with the way Africa, Latin America, Australasia and most of the rest of Europe know us) as a team who every now and then plays Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. Hull City – and a good dozen or so Premier League teams – exist in the eyes of the vast majority first and foremost to make up the numbers so that the cash cows in the league have someone to beat on televisions around the world every weekend. That will remain the case regardless of our name, be it ‘Hull City’, ‘Hull Tigers’ or ‘Hull We Love China’.

    A name change may – and it’s a pretty massive may – get us a decent sponsorship deal from Asia, from some cash-rich company who wants its name on shirt warn by a team watched by hundreds of millions of football fans maybe eight or so times next season.

    At what cost to existing fans though? A quick scan of the message boards and general opinion of anyone I know who supports City is one of overwhelmingly being against it. Would this decision in isolation put a significant number of them off supporting/watching the team? Probably not. But it may be a further nail in the coffin for many put off by the cost of watching the game, the general perception of footballers being the scum of the earth, the prospect of us being moved to Melton, etc… That’s for the Allams to assess. How much old money would they lose in the quest for new money? I just wish they’d be a bit more clear as to their intentions on this one, as they keep denying it and then – as this TWTWT astutely observes – doing very little to assuage fears of a name change among fans.

  5. Les
    Les says:

    Well Jim, given that a TV news crew asked Phil Brown before an Asia Trophy match in Beijing if he’d be singing karaoke after the match, that means they were aware of what happened after the 08/09 Manchester United home game, which also means they knew us as Hull City.

    Pretty obvious really.

  6. Andy
    Andy says:

    I have a theory, which I may expand into a full article, that among City’s support there are probably hundreds of people whose disillusionment with modern football is such that they’re now just one more indignity away from walking away.

    That indignity could be a number of things: City changing their name, or colours, or moving to Melton, or a hefty price rise, or even playing cunting music after a goal, any number of things really. But when those people walk away, they’ll probably go forever. A good mate of mine, whose name you’d all recognise, walked away a few summers ago and he used to be the biggest City fan you could imagine.

    Now, the club may deem that losing one City fan in Hull is worth it if it gains five merchandise enthusiasts in Asia. And from a financial perspective, they’d be right. However, not many of the NuFanz the club craves will get up at 5am to travel away and sing themselves hoarse at games, which is of more use to the team – nor are they as likely to stick around when our fortunes inevitably experience a downturn. The club, in common with football as a whole, seems almost hostile towards its own long-term supporters. I fear that “Hull Tigers” would be a tipping point for a lot of people. It certainly would be for me.

  7. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Some of this seems a bit over the top to me. WYP v Tigers “name change”? WYP episode much more important IMO. Was irritated by a Midlands RU club stealing the Tigers tag some years ago though! Especially when they play in largely green!!
    Much more important…when are 2 good strikers coming through the KC doors!!

  8. Bazza
    Bazza says:

    I don’t like it but constant reference to ‘Hull Tigers’ makes not a jot of difference to my continued support of the club; and I can’t believe it’s an issue for the vast majority of fans. I can’t help thinking the real reason that it is being used is due to Assem Allam’s anger at the way he feels he’s been treated by certain unthinking elements on Hull City Council? He surely has reasons to be less than pleased with the council. We get promotion to the elite league in English football and the response from the council? Little short of indifferent.

  9. jghull
    jghull says:

    Heartily agree with Andy and Les on this.

    Fundamentally, all we really support is a crest and some material which is wrapped around the playing staff. The players change, the manager changes, even the ground can change. However, fiddling around with the foundations of the club changes everything – regardless of the reason and (frankly far fetched) perceived benefits. If the club can provide a response by means of well presented market research that shows the beneficial impact of any identity change, I’ll listen and at least be sympathetic to it. I’ll still hate it though.

    It’s evident this isn’t just the “business side” of the club too – we should care. I do care.

    Stop it, City. I want my AFC and I want my “The”.

  10. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    Bazza – how were the council meant to react? Several councillors expressed their pleasure at City’s promotion. As far as I’m aware, the club turned down the chance of a open-top bus tour/City Hall reception in favour of the celebration at the KC. If you disagree with the council’s insisting on retaining ownership of the KC – a stadium they built for the club just 10 years or so ago under no pressure to do so, which has acted as the catalyst for the most exciting decade in the club’s existence – then fair enough. But Hull City has done better out of its local council than the vast majority of clubs in this country.

    The Allams have saved the club with their money, and duly deserve a great deal of praise and gratitude for that, but that doesn’t mean that everything they do should be praised or accepted, be it wanting the KC for bugger all money or potentially changing the club’s name. And why would the name change piss off the council anyway? They didn’t act when Hull FC became Hull Sharks.

  11. Dave
    Dave says:

    For me and many others its “City” the Tigers being a fond second string.

    And Chillo 70 tomorrow. Best wishes to a great center forward who gave many of us much pleasure.

  12. Scunnytiger
    Scunnytiger says:

    Hull Tigers? Bollocks…. we are a City, a very proud City, its people are proud people, and our nickname is the Tigers…. Write and tell the club, email, ring, pester, otherwise before we know it it’s Melton, cheer leaders and cunt music after every goal

  13. Bosco
    Bosco says:

    Agree with the general sentiments above, the Allams have been saviours of the club, but don’t mess with the name. ‘The Tigers’ is the nickname, end of. We are ‘City’.

    Is someone buying a shirt in the Far East really going to help City? As Andy points out, following City around the country is far more important, particularly beyond next season.

    UTT

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