A NEW NAME? NO THANKS, SAY A UNITED FRONT OF HULL CITY SUPPORTERS
Puzzled. Incredulous. Deflated. Angry.
These may well have been the range of reactions Dr. Assem Allam and his son Ehab, the owners of Hull City Association Football Club, experienced when they were left disappointed by their negotiations with Hull City Council regarding purchase of the KC Stadium. And just a few short months later it is us, the supporters of Hull City AFC, that are being made to feel these same emotions.
Renaming Hull City AFC to Hull City Tigers – with Hull Tigers quite clearly being the name that will swiftly follow – is being portrayed by the owners as a sweet marketing ploy aimed at raising profile and profit for the club. Show us the evidence, we say, because it sounds unlikely to us. Dr. Assem’s appearances on regional TV news yesterday did nothing to dispel the strong feeling that any marketing benefits are based on wishful thinking, not cold hard analysis and modelling.
The truth is perhaps rather easier to fathom. The Allams make no secret of their dislike of Hull City Council following the breakdown of negotiations regarding the acquisition of the KC Stadium. And now we hear from Dr Assem that the name ‘City’ is “common” and “lousy”. The Allams are perhaps angered by their inability to reach a deal with Hull City Council and wish to airbrush the term “Hull City” from the football club as quickly as they can.
One unfortunate spat and as a result, out of the window goes a famous club name of 109 years standing. We are supporters of a 21st century football club – our team is perhaps one of the greatest footballing stories of this century so far – and we embrace change and progress. But not change that appears to have scant logical justification.
The business side of Hull City AFC has now been renamed Hull City Tigers Ltd, and that brand is being drip-fed into the corporate dealings of the club. That is not something we especially approve of, but we accept that this change is a business decision made for corporate reasons.
But changing the identity of the football team; that is another matter entirely. Such a radical change should only ever be done for the purest of reasons. It should never be countenanced without first consulting with the truest and longest standing custodians of a football club – its supporters, its customers. Yet not a shred of consultation has happened. Telling us something is about to happen isn’t consultation, it’s a fait accompli – and is all the more distasteful for the repeated denials that preceded its announcement.
Just two weeks ago on local radio (and four weeks ago in the Hull Daily Mail) the club’s managing director assured fans that the name of club was not going to be changed. How quickly that assurance has proved worthless; how hard it will be for fans to trust similar pronouncements in the future.
We have conducted our own consultations with supporters – and the response is a resounding “no thank you”.
So we, as representatives of a wide spectrum of City supporters across the UK and beyond, call on the Allams to put a stop to this. We are Hull City AFC, there is nothing wrong with that name and it should stay put. We call on Dr Assem and Ehab to call a halt to any further rebranding of the football club without full and proper consultation with supporters. We call on Dr Assem and Ehab to stop alienating a large swathe of City supporters. And we call on Dr Assem and Ehab to let us all get on with enjoying another fabulous Premier League odyssey.
Amber Nectar fanzine/website
City Independent fanzine/website
Tiger Chat discussion group/website
Tigerlink supporter group/website/events guide
Hull City Ulltras supporters group
Vital Hull website
Hull City Online website
Notes for Editors
1. On Friday 9th August 2013 Dr. Assem Allam and Ehab Allam, the owners of Hull City, announced via an article in the Hull Daily Mail their intention to rename the football club “Hull City Tigers” and “Hull Tigers”, depending on the market being addressed. Dr. Assem Allam provided further views on the matter during TV interviews for BBC and ITV regional news on Wednesday 14th August 2013.
2. The 9th August 2013 Hull Daily Mail article included the following quotes:
- Assem Allam – “Hull City is irrelevant.”
- Assem Allam – “My dislike for the word ‘City’ is because it is common.”
- Assem Allam – “In the commercial world, the shorter the name, the better.”
- Assem Allam – “It is about identity. City is a lousy identity.”
- Ehab Allam – “We have dropped the ‘AFC’ as it is something that has become redundant.”
- Nick Thompson – “I would urge fans to judge it in the fullness of time.”
3. On Wednesday 17th July 2013 the Managing Director of Hull City AFC, Nick Thompson gave an interview that featured the following quotes:
- [when asked if there was a plan to change the club’s name] … “No.”
- “In terms of the football club, it is Hull City and it is an associated [sic] football club.”
- “If we talk about football-related things, it’s Hull City.”