1. Is the club being dishonest about its use of “Hull City Tigers”, the presumed forerunner to “Hull Tigers”? That’s not a pleasant accusation to level at our own club, particularly when thoughts should be focussed upon an impending return to the Premier League. But when we see the new sign outside the training ground, in conjunction with a raft of other Hull City Tigers evidence, we must unhappily conclude that the assertion it’s purely for commercial purposes is false.
2. Perhaps they conclude that we’re idiots and will accept this hateful rebranding if it’s done slowly and slyly enough. Maybe they calculate that the excitement of the top flight will somehow make us forget 109 years of heritage, or that pliable Soccer AM-raised NuFanz now outnumber grumpy Boothferry Park veterans by a sufficient margin as to make it worth the risk. Perhaps they just don’t give a toss what we think. But we know the club are reading, so let’s once again spell it out as clearly as possible: any rebranding whatsoever involving the club’s name is completely unacceptable.
3. The mooted benefits are wholly illusory. The idea that millions of football fans abroad will magically cotton onto City purely because of a name change is so ridiculous as to be hardly worth discussing. It won’t attract new customers; it will simply alienate lots of existing ones. Hardly sparkling business acumen. And it’s depressing to hear City fans witlessly extolling these alleged benefits in a bid to sound knowledgeable about the modern game. This is all Championship Manager’s fault.
4. So, no benefits, but no little duplicitousness. Where’s the consultation? When has such an emotive topic ever been raised in an open and honest fashion? Nowhere. This leaves a desperately sour taste in the mouth. At least be honest with us.
5. The truly absurd thing is that the notion of pushing the Tigers brand abroad is actually a very good idea. We have a fine, stout, traditionally English name that we’ve grown to like over the past century and a bit and would like to keep, if that’s alright; equally, we’re blessed with the best nickname of any team in England. That should be taken advantage of, and can be with a bit of imagination, but not by clumsily appending it to our name and making us sound like participants of ice hockey, rugby league or a silly American sport.
6. Of course it’s possible we’re overreacting. We have before, and we will again. But one thing is undoubtedly true: if this happens, then even its subsequent reversal will not spare us from mockery that will last forever. The terraces have long memories and this has the potential to make us a laughing stock as long as we all live, and deservedly so – which makes it all the more important to halt the madness now, before it’s too late.
7. We’re grumpy. So let’s continue. £50 for Chelsea?! No-one wins prizes for originality by grouching about ludicrous ticket prices, so perhaps it’s worth looking at a bigger picture instead. At present, British sport is on perhaps its biggest high in recent memory. The glorious 2012 Olympics are still fresh in our memories, in tennis we have a reigning Wimbledon and US champion, two of golf’s majors are presently held by Brits, the last and next Tour de France winners are from these shores, the British & Irish Lions recently provided great happiness for eggchasing advocates, while the nation is about to be transfixed by the latest installment of the Ashes. And what is football’s counter-offer? Fifty pound tickets and Hull fucking Tigers.
8. Football is no longer merely in danger of eating itself, it’s already begun. Autocannibalism is enthusiastically underway, and the whole fascinatingly grisly process is actually speeding up. When we hear of City fans with decades of service to the cause not even thinking of attending the opening game of the season because of the ticket price, something is seriously sick with the whole game. Maybe it needs another sport to genuinely overtake in the nation’s affections to jolt it back to reality. After all, who would you rather see on the news – Alistair Cook, Justin Rose, Andy Murray…or John Terry?
9. Adel Taarabt? No thanks. Great player, but a deeply unappealing human being.
10. Let’s end on a happy note. On Thursday, two of your humble editors are going to Portugal to watch City, see the sights and sounds of southern Iberia, and perhaps even have the occasional glass of beer. We’ll try not to sound too smug as we – to quote one of our number – live-tweet the shit out of it.