Things We Think We Think #157


1. Something of a bolt from the blue was Nikica Jelavić’s surprising decision to retire from international football over the weekend. With Croatia likely to qualify for Euro 2016 and the player still in his 20s (and perhaps the form of his life), he’s effectively giving up playing in a major tournament, and perhaps two. It wouldn’t be a total shock if this decision is reversed in the coming months.

2. Quite a few City fans seem pleased about Jelavić putting club before country. Yet don’t we all want Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone to play for England?

3. Meanwhile, Andy Robertson’s stellar rise continued with a sparkling performance for Scotland against Georgia. We’d better enjoy him while we can.

4. Arsenal this weekend. Expect to hear southern dullards intoning “two niw, and you facked it ap”, as though that’ll somehow distress us. At least they’re charging a vaguely sensible amount for the game. It’d be nice to put one over them too. The Cup Final aside, memories of Arsenal are inevitably centred upon that afternoon in 2008 when City pulled off perhaps the biggest shock in the Premier League’s history; but we’ve since lost seven in a row to Arsenal. Some close, some controversial, and of course they have resources far beyond ours so there’s no real shame in that record – but it’d be good to see Arsène Wenger fumbling around for scapegoats next Saturday night.

5. Six months ago, we’d probably have been furious at Assem Allam blaming the fans for his unhappy situation – facing a second defeat on the name change and likely to sell a club he’d rather keep. Now we’re just thoroughly bored of his increasingly desperate cries for attention.

6. About that sale, then. Assem Allam’s relationship with the fans is worsening, and already significant numbers are irreparably alienated from the owner. Those numbers are only going to increase unless Mr Allam stops talking and starts keeping promises. Past form suggests that’s unlikely. Which makes us think, reluctantly and for the first time, that perhaps him selling the club and us all moving on may be the best thing for all concerned.

7. Stephen Parnaby, eh? He and his fellow political pygmy Steve Brady’s recent border spat doesn’t trouble us; AN doesn’t do politics. Whether the leader of East Riding Council should be using council time and public money to fawn over Assem Allam is a matter for his electorate to judge; it’s plainly not illegal and doesn’t require banning. Nor is an East Riding politician somehow less qualified to comment upon City than a Hull-based politician, because City’s support being drawn from the East Riding as well as Hull has long been evident.

8. What trouble us are his opinions. If he wants to gush about Assem Allam, well, fine. But his clarification to Radio Humberside that he would support Assem Allam in changing City’s name is something else. Again, it’s a view he’s entitled to have. Whether it’s wise for a politician to side against the majority of City fans is anyone’s guess. But it places him firmly in the minority, and firmly opposed to all known facts and figures.

9. We don’t need to wonder why so many politicians seek embarrassingly anxious to genuflect towards Mr Allam. The linguistically disadvantaged John Prescott is another, while Cllr Mike Whitehead – a PPC in Hull next year – also joins in…though the second does at least support the club. No, it’s fairly straightforward. Politicians crave the approval of the rich and the powerful. And sod the ordinary fan.

10. An interesting notion popped up on Twitter during the week – an account campaigning for a monument to Ebenezer Cobb Morley, the Hull-born father of association football. We wish him/her well. Campaigns of this nature aren’t easy, as we well remember from both City Till We Die and the attempts to make West Yorkshire Police see sense last year, but with enough application and organisation they can certainly yield results, as both of these squabbles illustrate.

35 replies
  1. Arthur Dearing
    Arthur Dearing says:

    TWTWTs are always a good read but this one is especially good regarding Assem Allem and the councillors. I wish I could state my views as well as you have done, I completely agree with your points.

  2. Mr Muggins
    Mr Muggins says:

    There’s a small clinic on Coltman Street that Allam ought to visit for a check-up… the man’s not well…

  3. Cumbria Tiger
    Cumbria Tiger says:

    Could it be that Mr Parnaby has his eyes on the Business Rates that a large stadium at Melton would bring to the East Riding’s coffers?

  4. Les
    Les says:

    Who’s building a stadium in Melton? The Allams can’t afford it, no matter how many Jaguar showrooms and KFC/Starbucks outlets they plan, and ER Council certainly cannot, despite their pledging ‘every backing’.

    Amazing that some people think a bigger stadium is a good idea when we’re not selling every seat, every game at the height of our success, or that moving away to spite the council that built our current home (which was as much a catalyst for the successes enjoyed between 2004-now as any chairman, manager or squad addition) is in some way a decent way to behave.

  5. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    Both the Allams and the East Riding Council would love to move the club out there, but as Les says, neither side can afford it. And the chances of external money coming in to work in partnership with AA probably diminishes with every interview he gives.

    What I want to know, however, is where were all these politicians when we really were on the verge of extinction so many times in the 1990s? I know a few people who worked in what passed for our hospitality/VIP/sponsors area at Boothferry Park, and they certainly don’t remember Prescott bothering with City back then. I don’t recall much support coming from the East Riding political scene either. As Les mentions, the only politicians Hull City really owes are a bunch of Labour councillors – Paddy Doyle, Tom McVie et al – who got the KC built, and who are generally being painted as the bad guys now, or tarred with the same brush as the genuine buffoons such as Terry Gerraghty. I’ve nothing against people realising/celebrating the wonderfulness of Hull City in more successful times, but most of this political posturing is sod all to do with Hull City and everything to do with Allam’s cronies helping him out.

  6. George
    George says:

    TWTWT this week has a touch of Orwell about it:

    “AN doesn’t do politics”.


    “Politicians crave the approval of the rich and the powerful”

  7. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    On football: Re 1&2. Jela must be really p****d with not playing or the coach, or something, but he’ll be a long time retired and injuries may give him big tournament time. Good for HCAFC, but things may well change,..
    Thudd’s been getting a lot of “pundits” saying good things re England, but with the near senile RH in charge what hope! Roy was an embarrassment v San Marino as he twitched, hopped around and talked to himself on the bench. This and the stupid unnecessary Rooney comment makes you wonder… Speaking of which…how poor can Rooney…second touch is a tackle….be!? Got lucky against poor opposition though.
    Re 4: really owe Arsenal one or two! Cup final, Spitgate, etc. Chelsea showed how, but can we be so fouling, etc? Pace attack v their CBs works, but will crosses just be eaten up by their big defenders. Also for some reason SB doesn’t seem to inspire v them, Chelsea or Soton. Time to change this. COYH!
    Re 5 “bored of”:Can the grammar police comment, as my O level English Language is a distant memory. Surely it’s bored with?

  8. Andy
    Andy says:

    7. Heh, fair point. To clarify, we don’t do politics in the sense of advocating any party or stuff like that; politics concerning City is very much an interest of our…

  9. Paul
    Paul says:

    Fully concur with Les above and have said it many times, and that is as a resident of ERYC (they really aren’t very good you know, Parnaby is a blundering fool), that we are were we are now mainly down to Hull CC. Without them building the KC we would still be lower league if not worse.

    Looking forward to first trip to the Emirates on Saturday, quite optimistic especially if some of their top players are “tired”. Disagree with Jelavic retirement being good news, international football develops players and sharpens their game. As for Huddlestone and England, Hoddle clearly not seen him this season so far! Far too slow in body and at times mind. Still one our best ever players but needs to up his game or for me should be left out soon.

  10. pash
    pash says:

    Re: Parnaby – Quite why parnaby feels the need to comment on AA’s stance is beyond me. Even HCC councillor’s have acted with a smattering of decorum (Gerhaty aside). Yes a lot of supporters come from the East Riding, and I’m glad of their support but his involvement only exasperates the situation. The majority of fans regardless of their views want this issue to fade away, meetings such as this or whatever it was are unnecessary to say the least. I am a Hull resident and a season ticket holder and do not feel that elected representatives from outside the city boundaries have any right to comment, especially days after a referendum distancing himself from Hull.

  11. West Stand Man
    West Stand Man says:

    I can understand if you gents need an occasional break from recording the podcasts, but they are the only ‘radio’ I make a point of listening to. I’d be delighted to hear you talk about anything HCAFC/football related. Doesn’t need to include a match for me.

  12. West Stand Man
    West Stand Man says:

    In fact, can I be so bold as to suggest a new series for the podcasts. Your reminiscences and analyses of previous players are great. Could you do the same re. the current squad? I’d very much like to hear your thoughts on strengths/weaknesses/fit within the team etc..

  13. clint naysmith
    clint naysmith says:

    Re 9: it’s a bit more than attention that politicians are currently craving from millionaire philanthropist Assem Allam. There’s a general election looming.

  14. The Voice of Reason
    The Voice of Reason says:

    There is so much to positive over.
    A decent set of financial accounts, great football, a dream team squad and manager, most of whom are British too.
    Yet your initially acceptable campaign is now boring and damaging to the club, we all love.
    CTID is now like a sketch from the Life of Brian, are we the Peoples front of Judea or the Judean Peoples Front???
    Why don’t you put your unquestionable and undoubted passion for Hull City / Hull Tigers into something positive?
    Such as working with the club for lower ticket prices!
    Better facilities at the KC.
    Trying to get all relevant parties together to push our fantastic club to the next level!
    Negativity threatens to send us back to the dark ages, eg. Portsmouth.
    This web-site is very professional and could be a great platform, instead it is sadly now used to slate the Owners and anyone who dares to challenge the one-sided opinion on here.
    So to end are we the Peoples Front of Judea or the Judean Peoples Front….I now expect to be stoned for dissent :-)

  15. Andy
    Andy says:

    We don’t have a passion for Hull Tigers, as there is no such thing, and there never will be.

    Thanks for the comments on the website, which we run at our own personal cost. That passion will extend to us giving up our own time to attend a meeting at the Circle on Tuesday evening, at which we will try – despite the owners’ undisguised contempt for City fans – to build a good working relationship with the club. We’ll keep trying.

    You won’t be stoned for dissenting, incidentally. This isn’t the Hull City AFC boardroom, all views are welcome here…

  16. The Voice of Reason
    The Voice of Reason says:

    Good luck on Tuesday Andy!
    I know you and I would watch City / The Tigers in the Conference.
    However after so many years of being a sleeping giant, we need everyone pulling on the same direction to take the club to the next level.
    We have a side capable of further Cup Finals and a top 10 finish now.
    Incredible achievement from just 12 years ago thanks to Adam Pearson, Peter Taylor, Phil Brown, Assem Allam, Steve Bruce and many long standing club officials.

  17. Barney Gumble
    Barney Gumble says:

    The club doesn’t seem to be sharing your views on “Pulling in the same direction” given the fact Allam recently blamed the fans for holding the club back and has subsequently goine on to play down the fact the club has made a sizeable profit while holding the name Hull City A.F.C. He went on to state that football is “not for him” and would like to sell.

  18. Riochatemyhouse
    Riochatemyhouse says:

    Anyone that still thinks CTID is causing any sort of damage in fan/club relations has no right whatsoever to term themselves “Voice Of Reason”. More like “Voice Of HDM Comments Board Keyboard Hammerer”.

  19. The Voice of Reason
    The Voice of Reason says:

    Riochatemyhouse – having watched City / The Tigers home and away at circa 1,000 games I have every right to voice my opinion, in just the same democratic way that you voice yours!
    I even walked the 26 miles home from one game just do I could see extra time!
    I take it this is the stoning from the Peoples Front of Judea or is it the Judean Peoples Front!!!
    Suggest you read Andy Dalton’s comments!

  20. Tyneside Tiger
    Tyneside Tiger says:

    re # 20

    How exactly does negativity threaten to send us back to the “dark ages” ?

    How exactly is the campaign “damaging to the club”, there is no “campaign” as such, the FA said no.

    As well as being the “Voice of Reason” could you be the first person ever* on this site to explain why wanting to protect the historic name of our club is a “bad thing”.

    *their may be a prize

  21. The Voice of Reason
    The Voice of Reason says:

    Tyneside Tiger – Negativity in any walk of live achieves nothing.
    Embracing change, moving with the times, adapting to new challenges, aspirations, are the only way to move forward.
    The club is moving forward faster than any of us could have dared to dream.
    So let’s back the owners and embrace change (within reason)
    Here’s a question for you Tyneside Tiger (ironic name) if the Allams weren’t around, who would you foresee running the club?
    And who in your opinion could’ve taken us to where we are now?
    I’ve supported the club since the 70’s and I couldn’t envisage any having done what the Allams have in such a short space of time.
    Our history of owners up 1975-2011 was torrid.
    So we should be grateful.

  22. Tyneside Tiger
    Tyneside Tiger says:


    Who woud I forsee running the club, I’ve no idea not being on first name terms with those people interested in running football clubs, but there are at least 92 of them out there, some good, some bad, some indifferent. I think it’s fair to say that if the Allams either sold up, or hadn’t bought the club someone else would step in/have stepped in.

    Who else could have taken us to where we are now, presumably someone else with deep pockets and the ability to appoint good managers. I don’t have the hindsight to be more specfic sadly.

    That’s not the point though. CTWD have never campaigned against who owns the club, as I’m sure you’re aware. The Allams ownership has been incredibly positive for the club on the whole, but that doesn’t mean that everything they want to do should be accepted, as you yourself say “within reason”.

    I’m happy to be grateful but that doesn’t mean that I’m prepared to see our name, history and tradition devalued for no reason.

    “Embracing change, moving with the times, adapting to new challenges, aspirations, are the only way to move forward. Can we not do this as Hull City AFC?

    I fail to see anything ironic about my username. It’s existed far longer than the Allams ownership of the club. It celebrates our fantastic nickname and my penchant for alliteration.

    Incidentally one persons negativity is anothers positivity. I believe wanting to protect history, heritage and tradition is incredibly positive.

    I’ve done my best to answer the questions you posed is there any chance of you answering the last one I set.

  23. The Voice of Reason
    The Voice of Reason says:

    Tyneside Tiger – We both support the same team and we both just want a well run, ideally successful team playing entertaining football and a club that is still in tune with the fans and community.
    Your response on owners was vague, because the fact is good owners are as rare as Hull City Cup Finals.
    We know only too well that in the last 50 years we’ve had far more dubious owners than good ones? Harold Needler, Don Robinson, Adam Pearson and Assem Allem are the good ones, the bad are too numerous to mention.
    Take an honest look around the Premier League and Championship and who would you really want in charge of our club? The Glaziers? Vincent Tan? Abramovic? Delia? Mike Ashley? The Gold Brothers? Randy Learner? Etc, etc? I wouldn’t want any of the aforementioned in charge of the Tigers.
    Nor would I want Martin Fish, Richard Cheetham, Nick Buchanan, David Lloyd and lets not forget it was Adam Pearson who sacked Phil Brown and humiliated him by appointing Iain Dowie!!!!
    So for now I am enjoying the finest football in our history and I am greatful for it.
    After 30 years of fighting relegation in the lower leagues since the late 70’s we’ve earned the right to enjoy this.

  24. Mr Muggins
    Mr Muggins says:

    Tell him what the prize is and he might answer your question TT? I can see no other for avoiding doing so….

  25. Tyneside Tiger
    Tyneside Tiger says:

    The prize is a box of hen’s teeth, as rare as the chance of getting an answer.

    TVOR – On balance, just, I would prefer Allam to remain as owner of the club, however if the price of this is ripping away a key part of our history, heritage and tradition then I’ll happily wave goodbye and take our chances with someone else.

    Success in football is never guaranteeed and if, in chasing this, we have to allow a stubborn old man to get his own way for no reason, not even to chase that ever moving pot of gold, then we are missing the entire point of what a football club should be.

    Interesting that you say you want a club that is in tune with the fans and community yet are happy to support an owner who appears to be rapidly heading in the other direction.

    As for the other owners you mention, I would agree with you on some of them, others perhaps just at the wrong club at the wrong time.

    Here’s another couple of questions for you to, probably not, answer.

    How would you feel if Allam moved the club to Melton, would you still be “greatful” for the “finest” football in our history?

    If supporters were entitled to a free ballot (with no threats implied or otherwise) would you prefer to be Hull Tigers or Hull City AFC (the team you have supported since the 70’s)?

  26. The Voice Of Reason
    The Voice Of Reason says:

    Tyneside Tiger – You will be shocked to see that I will indeed answer your questions :-)
    1. Melton – I would need to see the plans, the design of the ground, capacity, transport infrastructure etc.
    The KC is a very nice stadium, nicely located in West Park and close to the City Centre.
    However getting in and especially out can be a nightmare.
    The surrounding area, unless you go into the centre or down Princes Avenue offers nothing for pre-match “entertainment”.
    So I would decide having looked at the pro’s and cons of each venue.
    2. I’ve always referred to the club as either City or The Tigers. So as long as we continue to play in East Yorkshire, in Black & Amber, then I’m happy.
    However if our kit was turned red and we were renamed Hull Sharks / Robins ala Vincent Tan at Cardiff then I would be leading the campaign against this.

    Just out of interest who were the owners, wrong place / wrong time?

  27. Tyneside Tiger
    Tyneside Tiger says:

    Well you’ve answered the first one but bottled the second. Have a go at the one you missed in comment #27

    Also how does being prepared to even consider Melton fit with a “a club that is still in tune with the fans and community”

    As for the owners Randy Lerner possibly and I have some interesting but slightly controversial views on Mike Ashley which I tend to keep quiet about, for obvious reasons.

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