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.