1: We threw out the question last week: “When will City give us cause to write a cheerful TWTWT?” The answer is: immediately. Saturday’s win at Crystal Palace had a smattering of everything; great football, individual brilliance, unflinching support, white-hot atmosphere, off-field talking points. And it gave us three points somewhat unexpectedly, given Palace’s resurgence, and in a timely manner too.
2: We’ll cling on to football matters for as long as we can, as for once, it’s worth it. Dame N’Doye was sensational, Tom Huddlestone looking truly interested and back to his pace-dictating best, the defence solidity personified and Sone Aluko showing smatterings of the form and confidence that made him such a superstar when we first got him. Even if he did slip with almost amusing regularity.
3: Our clutching onto those straws of hope is a little stronger than a week ago, and an optimist may note that Crystal Palace’s nothing-to-play-for lethargy could similarly infect some more of our future opponents. Arsenal’s top four place is a secure and there are Cup Final-ruining injuries to be avoided, Burnley could be beyond rescue, Tottenham may be dreaming of summer…
4: How much fun is Liverpool at home going to be now? A packed Circle on a spring Tuesday night, with City seeing their fate in their own hands while the big-name visitors from the unclean end of the M62 have to win to maintain the tiniest hope of a European Cup place. It could prove to be a cracking night. And, dare we say it, it’s a good time to beat Liverpool: out of sorts, out of the FA Cup, with question marks over the future of their manager and star winger, while their strikers can’t score. Kiss of death stuff we are risking, clearly, but we turned them over last season with some ease when they were also not having a great time of it. That they then went on a ridiculous run of form and nearly won the Premier League afterwards is nothing to do with us.
5: If you are a Liverpool supporter based in East Yorkshire, don’t come to the game unless you are in the away end. Liverpool shirts have been more abundant in our parts of the KC than those of any other foe since we first experienced top tier football in 2008, and it is unpleasant and inflammatory to witness them. And if you’re a steward, eject them. No ifs and buts.
6: We referred earlier to a “white hot” atmosphere, and of course much of that heat was directed at the Allam family. It was probably inevitable that their deplorable conduct would eventually see an Allam Out campaign arrive to accompany the thus-far successful No To Hull Tigers campaign, and what was striking at Selhurst Park was how widespread the feeling was. The only minority used to be those in favour of the name change, now it may even be that supporting Assem Allam’s ongoing ownership places you at odds with the majority.
7: This is all placing the local media in an invidious position, and they’re certainly coming in for plenty of criticism. Of course, Assem Allam is rich and powerful, and perfectly willing to exploit that. And we understand that without access to players, listeners will drift away and readers will cease buying newspapers. We wonder if the real reason that the local media continues to sit on its hands over the club’s various misdeeds is because having failed to ask any serious questions at the outset despite repeated warnings, doing so now would make their initial loss of nerve appear even worse. Maybe it would. But it’s better late than never. Perhaps they could start with the missing £200,000?
8: However, to some extent that’s shooting the messenger when the real problem remains the Allam family. It’s hard to see however they can ever regain the goodwill of City fans, principally because they aren’t even trying. Major transgressions vie with minor ones for attention; turfing kids out of the Airco, the club STILL sending out e-mails from Hull Tigers urging us to renew season tickets. Whoever at the club thought that was a good idea would, at a properly run club, be clearing out their desk tomorrow.
9: Apropos of season tickets – if even half of those threatening not to renew next season carry it out, we are going to see huge swathes of empty seats next season. What a sad sight that would be, and how avoidable it all is.
10: Quite what is going on at North Ferriby United is not clear, but several of their players have felt compelled to criticise the Allam family for withdrawing financial support. The value of a club like North Ferriby was made abundantly clear by their recent Wembley win, they edify and uplift their local community. The owners though, seem to miss that point entirely, talking about the financial bottom line as if that alone represents the value of the club, and effectively blaming a village of only a few thousand inhabitants for their expectations of a commercial return being wholly unrealistic. Does this have any relevance to Hull City? It’s hard to say, but Ferriby’s owners (who incidentally removed ‘AFC’ from a revised NFU club crest) are part of Assem Allam’s inner circle, and share a trait of claiming to be community minded while really just looking after themselves. The brainless mindset of “it’s his club, he can do what he likes” rings especially hollow when a club is voluntarily relegated, an act that will upset many people who care and have done so long before the Allams got their mitts on local sides.