Things We Think We Think #109

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1. The events of the last week have illuminated an inescapable truth. For all of Assem Allam’s claims that he was touched by the gratitude he was shown after buying the club and following promotion, he simply doesn’t have any regard for what Hull City fans think.

2. If he did, there would have been some fan consultation about a potential rebrand. Is that not precisely the sort of thing the FLAG was created for? Instead this was done in an underhand way, with an unannounced company name change and a phased implementation of a new name. Unacceptable, and not just to us, but to the Premier League too, who said there must be fan consultation before a name change is approved. We weren’t just not consulted, the club flagrantly lied to us about the change. “It’s just the business side of the club that’s changing”, that statement sounds pretty hollow now doesn’t it?

3. We’re slightly baffled by the notion held by some (including Tom Courtenay) that the Allams have a right to change the name, because they’ve saved the club and spend a significant sum of money. How does that work exactly? The Allams aren’t the first to save us, and they’re unlikely to be the last owners who’ll put money in, so does every owner have the right to rebrand the club? If not, why are the Allams given special dispensation by some to not respect the club’s identity and history? Our club has changed hands 6 times in the last 16 years, which illustrates that owners come and go, they are just temporary custodians of the club, it’s the supporters who remain, and their opinions and feelings should matter.

4. Assem Allam’s statement that City is a ‘lousy and common’ identity was simply callous, given that fans love that identity. We don’t sing “Tigers till I die”, we sing “City till I die.”

5. Predictably, ‘Hull City Tigers’ has taken a kicking in the media both nationally and internationally, which makes you question the ‘commercial sense’ of the move doesn’t it? Many media outlets, both local and national, have already signalled their intention to continue using our proper name, which makes a mockery of the plan. If the Hull Daily Mail and the BBC refuse to cooperate, then who on earth is going to spread this foolish concept?

6. Just how will the commercial benefits of a name change be quantified anyway? City’s income will rise exponentially this season simply because we’re in the Premier League, where TV revenue and exposure are far, far greater than in the Championship. Even if we secure sponsorship from a Far East company, that’s hardly conclusive, so have Everton, Aston Villa and Swansea, and they haven’t changed identity.

7. MD Nick Thompson’s credibility is now in tatters, given that his assertion that no team name change was planned has been shown to be a falsehood by the owners. If he only cares what his employers think of him then he won’t be troubled, but if he places any value at all on his stock with the ‘customers’ and the local media, he should be. One of his daughters referred to Hull City fans on social media as “arse scratching degenerates”, which makes you wonder if he shares that view.  Top tip Nick, if you find fans saying you’ve told untruths offensive, then don’t tell untruths.

8. Obviously this cannot be taken lying down. We welcome all suggestions about what to do next. Assuming City haven’t registered their idiotic new name with the relevant footballing authorities, we have until next April to make them see sense.

9. Andy Dawson was given a fitting send off on Saturday, fitting because he is a bonafide City legend. It’s hard to see a player reaching the 10 year milestone with one club again given the mutable nature of the game currently, which makes Dawson’s service all the more praiseworthy.

10. It is nothing short of a tragedy that in the run up to one of the most exciting seasons in club history, the focus is on rebranding, but you can’t pin that on the fans. That responsibility lies squarely at the feet of our owners.

36 replies
  1. Cumbria Tiger
    Cumbria Tiger says:

    Whilst many people right in saying that without the Allams there might not be a Hull City Association Football Club they should remember that without the loyal fans who turned up week after week in the dark days of the fourth division there would not be a Hull City Association Football Club.

    The AFC suffix is crucial in a city where three teams play football at the top level. Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers play Rugby League Football – Hull City AFC play Association Football – our name should reflect that very important difference – forever!

    The manner in which this matter has been handled is at best clumsy and thoughtless (I don’t think so) or it has been done with total disregard for the loyal supporters.

    I stood in the crowd on the pitch after the Cardiff City match and applauded the Allams – and saw them enjoying the success. They should be aware that the vast majority of that crowd are opposed to the name change. Think again Mr Allam.

    By the way, wouldn’t it be good if Sky referred to our team as Hull City not just Hull.

    CITY TID

  2. Jon Tennison
    Jon Tennison says:

    Arse scratching degenerates, eh? I guess that opinion is hardly a surprise from the offspring of a former high-ranking employee of Rupert Murdoch, given that he views working class people as gullible scum.

  3. Isa Kite
    Isa Kite says:

    I was going to buy my usual replica shirt from the club shop, but will now look out for an unofficial alternative. It occurs to me that if just 1000 fans do the same, the shop loses about £40,000 in turnover.

    Perhaps a campaign to boycott the club’s commercial offerings would have more of an effect on this “commercial” decision – clearly, simple opposition by the paying fans isn’t having any impact.

  4. Gareth
    Gareth says:

    This is something I posted yesterday on the not606 site. I’m really interested to know if people think there is any merit in pursuing the sort of compromise I’ve suggested at the bottom of the article….

    Well, I have to say I’m pretty conflicted about this and perhaps my user-name gives a bit of a clue to that but overall my sympathies lie with those who oppose the change.
    For those of you who can be bothered, here’s a little story that explains my personal involvement in just this issue here in Australia.

    As I’ve explained in the past, my family background is Hull. I’ve visited many times, actually love the place (and the East Riding generally) and still have family in Hull, but I was actually born in a suburb in the west of Melbourne called Footscray. Growing up in Australia before going to England as a young teenager, and then returning to Australia again, I was an avid fan of Aussie rules and my team was the place of my birth – Footscray.

    Footscray is known as a relatively poor suburb and it’s supporters have had to endure (along with the lowest success record in the competition), battles against bankruptcy and attempts to force a merger with another club. ANY of that sound familiar?

    A few years ago, about 15 maybe, a new and very wealthy club president was installed. A bit of money was put in and in the view of most supporters he was a white knight that was going to ensure the clubs survival. HOWEVER, in quick time, the club was being relocated, the club song was changed, the jumper (we don’t call them shirts) was redesigned with a funny looking bulldog on the front and wait for it – all of a sudden the club (officially just the team) had a name change and is known to virtually everyone as the Western Bulldogs.

    Suddenly I found myself part of a supporters group calling itself the Footscray Forever Committee. The objective was to force a ballot of the clubs members. Sensing a defeat, (the clubs board really held the whip hand) a compromise was negotiated. The team plays with the letters FFC (Footscray Football Club) on the back of the jumpers AND the club is still officially – though not really publicly – Footscray Football Club, trading as the Western Bulldogs.

    Importantly, at least from my perspective, this achieved three very important things –
    1. It showed some sensitivity to supporters who felt strongly about the issue and showed some respect for the clubs history.
    2. It prevented a serious and damaging rift between groups of supporters and between supporters and the club management and
    3. Perhaps most importantly, by avoiding a ballot defeat, those who still value the Footscray heritage have retained the possibility of the name reverting to Footscray simply by a resolution of any future board that might have a desire to do so.

    This is a highly emotional issue and although there are obvious similarities between the Hull City situation and the one I have just described, there are also some major differences and if the Allams chose to do so, it would be my contention that it is not too late for them to make peace. Although I am an avid City fan, I must confess that I feel a bit like an outsider that’s handing out a lecture. I hope it doesn’t come across that way and I’ll risk it anyway with the following suggestion.

    The Allams should apologise for the manner in which this has been handled without adequate consultation. They can use the EPL statement to save face and put their plans on hold until a full and open discussion has occurred with the various supporter groups. With just a little compromise, they can pursue the international marketing strategy they desire AND guarantee the continuing existence and use of the name Hull City AND Tigers at home! For what it’s worth, it seems to me that the debate about AFC should be centred around the issue of the clubs legal identity and that’s coming from someone who has the club insignia tattooed on my shoulder but if I’m honest that’s not the most important part of the tattoo for me.

    I recognise that what I’m suggesting here lacks for obvious reasons, detail and requires a little compromise from all parties – but sometimes it’s worth it!

  5. big bad joe red
    big bad joe red says:

    The thought has been lurking at the back of my mind for a few seasons now, but the ‘Burger-King Tigers’ no longer belong to us, but to ‘them’. The constant disappointments from the ‘custodians’ of the ‘BMW Hull Soccer Stars’ is so tiring. I’m still going to be watching for the results of the ‘Master-card Tiger Team Plc’ but i can’t bring myself to spend a single penny on merch or tickets this season, or to spend the hours i’ve previously spent on the internet looking for team/club news. Its another knife in the heart for what football is supposed to be about. The rules have changed, and we were never gonna be involved in their decisions. My lad is at an age when he’s getting into sports. I’m taking him to the tennis courts on Sunday afternoon. It’ll be a lot less heartache in the long run.

  6. Stephen Fox
    Stephen Fox says:

    I’m afraid that this episode reveals an undeniable truth; the owners of Hull City AFC believe that having rescued it from oblivion they have the right to turn it into anything they like. This is short term, foolish, and unintelligent; it also makes no sense from a business point of view. What they should have been doing is building on the goodwill created by their initial rescue of the club not turning people, ( fans and others), against them. I’m not optimistic that this will change given their mind-set. We need to take every opportunity to make our voices heard, and work with local and national media to oppose the name change.

  7. Preston Tiger
    Preston Tiger says:

    Well, if it wasn’t a case of ‘them & us’ before it certainly appears to be heading that way now with crass statements made in public forums by Nick Thompson’s daughter! Do we have a link for ‘that’ statement that she made?

  8. suttontiger
    suttontiger says:

    Is this, as seems increasingly likely, another swipe at the City Council and the so called rebranding to appeal to foreign markets a smokescreen? Davdi LLoyd was a buffon becuse he didn’t understand football or the City of Hull – in AA’s case the latter at least should not be the case. I am quite honestly outraged by the whole issue and emailed James Mooney Marketing Director of my feelings a couple of weeks ago in repsonse to a Hull Tigers Limited logo on an email from the Club about the Chelsea tickets. He said it was an oversight and we are always Hull City. Along with Nick Tthompson he has either been duped or is a liar. I for one will go along with any protest that is necessary and iin the meantime will not be buying anything from the Club.

  9. Mikey dredd
    Mikey dredd says:

    Unfortunately both Allams and Thompson don’t care about the fans as most fans are in their eyes working class and as capitalists they really don’t care and never will. I have no idea if Hull City fans are working class or identify themselves as working class but owners and the rich don’t care we are all scum – proof, the lack of concern by the Allams about this and the labelling of “City” as “common”, Thompsons out and out lies, and his daughters comments. What can we do? Not a lot, show our displeasure but who will boycott games? Who won’t buy the merch, see what happens at Xmas and see the merch flow off the shelves. Yes make our voices heard but don’t be surprised when nothing happens.

  10. Brian Hudson
    Brian Hudson says:

    Interesting to read how people want us to called by the broadcasters – hardly any of them refer to us now as anything but ‘Hull’, so they are hardly likely to add two new words to that, are they? I’ve softened my views slightly since the news broke, but what is unforgivable is the dishonesty shown by the various spokesmen the Club have used to deny the rumours. It is also surprisingly encouraging that the Premier League have refused to accept the change.

    Now let’s get on with proving all the pundits wrong, and surviving and enjoying the season!

  11. suttontiger
    suttontiger says:

    PS I thought my days of coffin carrying and tennis balls were over but now I’m not so sure.

  12. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Re5 & comment11 above : The BBC usually just say “Hull”, so any promises/statements on such are valueless IMO! Source of irritation for years!
    Re7 : Any meeting involving Thompson should be boycotted! Anything he has to say has no credibility anymore! Waste of time listening to him!
    Re2 : Read the Newcastle site/thread on “Newsnow” sometime this week. The PL didn’t say there needed to be consultation to them!….unless I misread it. Sports Direct Newcastle anyone….
    Still need players in, if we’re to maximise commercial opportunity!……ie. not get thrashed every week!!

  13. ScouseTiger
    ScouseTiger says:

    I’m already on a merchandise boycott due to CashConverters!

    Nothing would surprise me that much in football these days. Cash in your chips for the premier league bonanza all you in the financial loop. Ker ching! Everything about our Western Society is selfishness, greed, corruption, deniability/unaccountability. On all levels from the top and each rung down to the mass flock of sheeple.

    The Allams are no different to anything we have seen at top level anywhere for 30 years. They simply say “There is 45 million reasons we can do as we please! (Just replace the numbers and its the same sentence used by all ‘top dogs’

    I just know the Rioch in Coventry will have had a double take done on it by instinct. (Pure speculation of course but if it suited them they just would and any critical thinker wouldn’t say it’s ludicrous)

    All we have the power to do is keep our money in our pockets. As 8,000 did last season for instance and for whatever reason at that!! Fact is they did! Don’t buy the shirts as I am not. But people will. Don’t spend money on the concourse as I don’t but people will. It’s upto them.

    Aside from that, all we can do is start again! We have the power to do that AND we would. And you know it!

    Best wishes to AFC Wimbledon, FC Utd of Manchester and many other clubs who have followed the path they have. Finally, Coventry City – that could of been any of us in reality.

    HCAFC – from boothferry to Wembely..,,..

  14. Preston Tiger
    Preston Tiger says:

    Re13

    Sorry Ashley, I’ve checked that link but her quote doesn’t appear to be there

  15. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    It was still there this morning. When I heard about it I assumed that she’d been getting abuse from City fans and had lashed out, but it seems totally without provocation. Classless.

  16. Mr Muggins
    Mr Muggins says:

    I saw it. She was basically saying fans are too stupid to understand how to run a football club. I dunno, the current owners are displaying breathtaking levels of stupidity and they appear to be managing ok.
    I suppose she’s allowed her opinion on her own private Facebook page just like I’m allowed my opinion on a certain type of blond haired plumper with a penchant for leopard print…

  17. yorkymonkey
    yorkymonkey says:

    So our blessed saviours are only carrying out a name change to make the club more marketable overseas. I think the Allam’s are getting ideas well above their thinking.

    We are NOT Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester United. We are not even the biggest club in Yorkshire, however we ARE the best and ONLY Premier League club in Yorkshire.

    I cannot see world followers of football going to their sports store and asking for a ‘Hull City Tigers’ top. It simply isn’t going to happen Mr Allam. I mean, for Christ sake, I live in the west country and Sports Direct don’t sell City shirts, so I highly doubt a foreign equivalent will!

    And as for calling the word ‘city’ common, well done for insulting the good people of Hull and the East Riding. Hull gets a bad enough time in the media without you calling the suffix ‘common’. You may have only meant it in relation to the club name, but that club name is one that has connotations to the entire area and therefore by a poor choice of phrase you have insulted the population. In fact, why not go one step further and change the name to Humberside Tigers…

    You want City to be known as a worldwide brand. Well, not wishing to be a pessimist but what happens if we get relegated? A worldwide branded Championship team just doesn’t have the same appeal.

    Also one wonders if the goose is getting fattened to be plucked…

  18. Preston Tiger
    Preston Tiger says:

    ….just like I’m allowed my opinion on a certain type of blond haired plumper with a penchant for leopard print…

    LOVE IT Muggs 😀

  19. bri the bus driver
    bri the bus driver says:

    Although as owners they can do what they like it is only an extension of the tennis players attitude to the fans when he had his hands on the tiller.I believe its a cultural thing with the owners,that they are seen as omnipotent (like Pharohs) and they wont even understand the uproar it has caused.I cant wait to see Jeff and the boys comments this Saturday.

  20. big bad joe red
    big bad joe red says:

    A sad reality is that the clubs don’t need the fans. For 10 years, Wigan proved that a football club can survive in the top flight of world football with only 300 fans. A fat owner and Rupert Murdoch’s 30 pieces of silver are all that’s needed to stay in the Prem. Fans who stretch their lives to follow a club are no more necessary than wooden rattles and Bovril. A day will come when the clubs will be glad to have no one there, no mess to clean up, no police costs, no staffing cost, car parks to sell as real estate. To quote genius: Im mad as hell, and i’m not gonna take it anymore!

  21. Ten-foot Tiger of Thailand
    Ten-foot Tiger of Thailand says:

    So – everyone here is in agreement that the vulgar desecration of our identity borders on the criminally insane..! Ok – so are we going to accept this insipid decision lying down, or are we gonna get our fingers out of our “degenerative backsides” and DO something about it…? If anyone is interested in a rogue T-shirt campaign, its something I could perhaps help facilitate, as the owner of a small on-line T-shirt retailer. The name of which I shall refrain from using at this juncture, not wishing to lower myself to the classless standards of our fearless leader.

  22. Paul Craven
    Paul Craven says:

    I’m still gutted about all this. I wish to participate in anything fan based to take on this mercyless alteration to our most loved football club.
    Persistently these days, footballing decisions are being taken by people wholly inexperienced with the game. If this had been Adam Pearson, I’d have at least listened to his thinking. Just because the Allams have “saved” us, it does not give them the right to do as they’ve done. Its unforgivable.

    Its tough to think of boycotting at this point, something though must be done.

  23. Our man in Finland
    Our man in Finland says:

    Not since the dark days of twunts like Lloyd or Buchliffe have I felt such anger towards the owners of Hull City AFC. The argument that they have put money is so they can re-brand us they see fit is dog shite. As is the idea that this will somehow make anyone is Asia give two shits about Hull City.

    I live in Foreign at the moment so don’t get to go to many games but I did buy merchandise. I obviously plan to boycott that now as I’m sure quite a few others will. This will hit revenues but it’s a pretty invisible protest.

    We need something visual like and alternative kit. I’m not suggesting as drastic a colour change as the Man U ones (although they do stand out), just some classic strip that doesn’t fall foul of copyright laws. This would be a visual way of protesting and would provide an alternative to fans who still want to buy a kit.

    Is it possible to buy the same plain shirt direct from Adidas? Not that I particularly want to increase Adidas’s revenue but I’d rather buy a plain shirt sans sponsors and badges than wear anything with Hull City Tigers on it.

  24. Shuffle
    Shuffle says:

    I think what has really added insult to great injury is in reading the external Internet coverage of the whole sorry saga, City come out of it looking like the laughing stock of the Premier League.

    I’m clinging to the hope that Steve Bruce has sanctioned the move to take pressure off the players who will now storm to the top of the league by winning their first 3 games….

  25. BobKnox
    BobKnox says:

    Live with it…Without Papa and Junior City would have been away t Dagenham on Saturday not Chelsea…Sad has it may seem the Americanisation of the premier league is just around the corner..
    Liverpool Red Sox, Fulham Jaguars etc it not that far off. Six prem clubs are already owned by Yanks, most of whom see the bigger picture.

  26. Mr Muggins
    Mr Muggins says:

    It’ll never happen. Their fans have more spine than twats like you. Live with that. U

  27. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    “Liverpool Red Sox, Fulham Jaguars etc it not that far off.”

    Seriously, why bother going to the effort to type out such bullshit?

  28. Canty
    Canty says:

    C-I-T-Y and what ave you got? The Tigers!!
    Sounds like our own underhand re-branding tactics have come true….
    Maybe they’ve been listening to us fans all along?

  29. Ian Garry
    Ian Garry says:

    I’m hoping against hope that if nobody, whether it’s the supporters, the press or the BBC, uses the ridiculous new name then the Allams might see sense and the Hull City Tigers re-brand will go the same way as the Hull Sharks.

  30. BobKnox
    BobKnox says:

    Muggins (Apt name)..Crabtree
    Errr..Not sure where I state that I agree with the name change. But if you can read things I never wrote, then so be it. You’re clearly great intellectual powers to be reckoned with. Do I care?..Not in the least.

  31. Lewis Wilson
    Lewis Wilson says:

    Do you not think that you are taking something out of context…I have seen the status but at no point did she name the club? Lets stop the witch hunt…I am aware that both Hull City and his daughters company have supported local campaigns such as the successful One Hull of a Boat.

    Looking into Nick Thompsons background he appears to be clean…his background is from a council estate and supports inner city churches.

    You always protect your own…I feel it was her protecting her father and she is allowed her view…leopard print and all

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