Things We Think We Think #227

TWTWT

1. The mood has shifted a little in the aftermath of Saturday’s 5-1 gubbing of Rotherham. Quite how much remains to be seen and its ultimate effect is presently unguessable, but there’s no doubt that walking away from the stadium on Saturday, things felt better than for a little while. A comprehensive victory in the sunshine will always lift the mood, and we shouldn’t get too carried away; lets enjoy it for what it was and hope it has a small but useful effect in the coming weeks.

2. It certainly was a pleasant watch. Rotherham were obviously hopeless, but the way City put them to the sword in the first half was thrilling. There was a buccaneering spirit in the side again, with inventiveness and vigour – it was all too much for our lowly visitors, but you suspect it’d also be hard for any side in the division to handle. The challenge for City is to replicate it in the next two, and perhaps three games.

3. The quality of goals was impressive. Abel Hernández’s overhead kick one of the finest ever seen at the Circle, but Diamé’s, Snodgrasses and Livermore’s second would have lit up any game.

4. Derby, then. They’ll be a formidable proposition, and memories of their double over us this season continue to stalk us. We’ve achieved fourth, which means the second leg at home – a theoretical advantage, but it does mean surviving the first leg with the tie still alive. That’ll mean overcoming a hostile home crowd – Derby, having competent owners, fill their stadium and engage with supporters, so we’ll be up against it. And goodness knows that City have gone missing all too often when things get a bit difficult, and have a nasty habit of capitulating when conceding first.

5. It’s hard to guage what we need to do. Away goals don’t count extra, so the imperative to pick one up isn’t there; you’d think that any sort of draw would make City favourites to progress. But do we try to almost end the tie with an away win, as per Watford 2008 – do we dare? Would that risk a heavy defeat we’d struggle to come back from? Is it better to keep it tight and rely on our home form to carry us to Wembley? Steve Bruce has a lot to consider.

6. The bookmakers make City narrow but definite favourites to win the play-offs, despite finishing with a whimper in fourth place. Hmm.

7. This being City, it cannot of course be about on-field issues. There was another significant red card protest against the club’s decision to scrap child and senior concessions. Sadly Ehab Allam continues to lack the guts to attend home games, but did find the time to write nauseatingly smug, error-strewn drivel in the programme attempting to justify the decision to hollow out our support for a generation.

8. Again, it all comes down to the alleged misuse of concessionary tickets at the gate. We wonder if Ehab would like to explain why this issue, which presumably other sporting clubs across the land have also faced, can be solved elsewhere with the retention of discounts, but not here.

9. Friday was the (extended) deadline for keeping your seat, and it appears that City sold just 6,000 memberships by the time it elapsed – compare and contrasts this to 21,000 at Derby, or 15,000 at Huddersfield. The impact on the club is obvious and grave. We’re going to be among the most poorly supported clubs in whichever division we’re in next season. How is that going to attract players to the club?

10. However, there is a serious human cost too. Families are being forced to give up season tickets because of steepling price rises. Senior citizens are having to walk away after decades of support. For those on social media, it made Friday night a thoroughly depressing read as countless stories of distressed City fans being forced out were told. Well done, Allams. Your legacy at the club is the destruction of its support and your reputation in this city is in tatters. For all of our sakes, just go.

14 replies
  1. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    5. Win the game at Derby #dareto dream.
    8. So why punish season ticket holders?
    9. Surprised 6,000 have renewed.
    10. It would take just a couple of days to turn this scheme around, into one we could ALL buy into.
    Couldn’t Ehab have just said, we’ll put this on hold, meet with the FWG’s this week and thrash out and agree a scheme which works for ALL? Pensioners, families, U-21’s, everyone else and Hull CIty AFC? Wouldn’t everyone be happy to pay a simple £28 pm adult, £10 pm concessions?
    Another tasteful and effective protest, well done everyone.
    #UTT

  2. ann guy
    ann guy says:

    Had to say goodbye to all our city friends in the east stand on sat. It was a lovely spring day and the goals were so impressive which, if it were possible, made it even more heartbreaking us having to leave after all these years. Can’t afford the extra on pension, that’s final. We will still be there in spirit though, good luck for next season city, UTT.

  3. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    Another well written piece, we have renewed due to already in the family section of the south stand.
    Also we have paid the same price as last season, so in effect ,wegot OAP discount, under 18s discount, but my daughter’s paid more than on the new deal.We have had to do it on one large direct debit.
    If Ehab is worried about fans abusing the concessions,it just shows how inept his family are at running the club. Find solutions instead of what accountants always do ie cut stewards, cut office staff to check identities.
    How would like to know the numbers of full & part time staff pre Allams & post Allams…..
    Unfortunately all I have heard is more supporters not renewing than renewing, also some businesses not taking out advertising for similar reasons they are not attending next season.

  4. Dr Seuss
    Dr Seuss says:

    Good report, good game. It was my last so I was pleased and proud to have some fine memories to take away. Hernandez’s goal was a cracker.
    I would like to point out that Rotherham were poor, especially once they shipped some goals BUT they still scored and made other chances that a better team might have put away. Our much vaunted defence seems a bit porous these days. Something for Bruce to ponder no doubt. Also the inclusion of Maguire in the midfield late on was a step in the right direction. Took the Myler role on and added some bells to it.
    Ehab’s comments. Well I couldn’t deign to reply via the HDM. What’s the point with that? They have never shown any inclination to listen to other people ranging from Nigel Pearson onwards so they won’t now. A poorly attended stadium might give them pause for thought but I’m sure they’d justify that via some incredulous story that “only true fans remain” etc and now they can rebuild blah blah. I know I’ve said this before and yes, I know it smells of a Dr Evil and a MinnyMe kind of world but I do think it is all about the land and the ground the stadium is on rather than anything else. Cast your mind back to when the good doctor first got mad with us and that was when the council said no to his acquiring hull fair ground. I think promotion caught him by surprise but he showed his spite by not allowing an open bus ride for the team through Hull and he started gobbing off about Melton/welton as a place for his stadium. The name change et al all spring from this event. Was he really a benefactor riding to our rescue as his “gift to the community” or did he see a chance to get some decent real estate next to a park that developed could sell for a lot more. Remember this is pre-Lehman’s going under so this plan would have been even more feasible than it is now. Is the plan still carrying on? Can the stadium be a viable Council asset if it only gets 5 or 6000 through the doors? Will the Audit Commission say that it is a drain of Council income and demand that it be sold? Who might you think would be in good position to buy it for a song being the sitting tenants etc? I know, far fetched, isn’t it but other than this scenario I really have great difficulty in understanding the Allam’s business plans and they attitude to their loyal customers.

  5. Chris Stern
    Chris Stern says:

    My last match will be either v Derby or at Wembley, after 50 years! Why are we believing the 6000 figure or the 14% fiddling? I presume the programme went to press in the middle of last week? On Friday it was reported that 5000 renewals were in, so how could there be 6000 on Wednesday? I think the concession argument has always been a red herring as they have been working on this scheme for two years, long before the change to ticketing. And, if they can’t ensure checks on entry that the correct price has been paid how can they count the numbers fiddling.

    Sorry Dr Suess but Lehman’s collapse was in 2008 long before the Allam’s involvement with the club.

    It’s a pity anyone has renewed, if no-one had they would have no choice but to scrap the scheme. My friend and I (we have been coming to matches together from day 1) are planning a visit to the trenches and D Day Landing beaches in September and I’ve got tentative plans for a month in New Zealand next January. Things I would not be doing had this not happened. Haven’t missed a home match in 5 years and saw 40 of the 46 league games this season plus every cup match home sand away. Home matches are actually 90 miles away from my home and it is very sad. Plans to return to live in Hull are now on ice. I will probably have a complete break with football or maybe change the shape of the ball and keep coming to the KCOM.

    I think the Allams get some twisted satisfaction out of making everyone miserable. Can’t see why they are doing it otherwise.

  6. richard pearson
    richard pearson says:

    I see that Blackpool are now League 2. Some problem with the owners. Er…..!!

  7. Dr Seuss
    Dr Seuss says:

    Ah, good point Chris. I was wrong ( now there’s phrase that’s not often heard from City’s boardroom these day). Apart from the Lehman bit, you have to admit it’s pretty close – unless we go for your “twisted mind” thingy which I’m not dismissing at all. Just for fun, who would play the Allams in the movie I outlined in my earlier post. I’m thinking Danny Devito for the old man but I’m stumped for Ehab.

    I’m making fun of this because if I don’t I’d cry. I’ve lost my club. I started supporting them in Aug 1965. Hull City v Scunthorpe. We won 3-2 and Waggy scored the winner in the last minute right in front of me stood in the North Stand. What chance did I have after that? It was like crack but in a good way. And now, well, I’m making some sort of stand. Probably pointless in the long term and very painful in the short term but what do you do? I’m sickened by the owners and I don’t, quite frankly want to give them any more of my money. Like you Chris, I’ve booked a holiday in Morrocco late Oct, two trips to Switzerland to see my baby grand daughter and we’re planning a trip to New Zealand in the new year to see family. All of this money would have probably gone on City. No disrespect to you Chris but you and I seem like the “cash cows” that the Allams should be crawling over broken glass to attract and yet…….

    Enjoy the playoffs and Wembley if we get there. The problem with that scenario is that I think the owners will hang around longer if we get to the Plastic League. More parachute payments anyone?

  8. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Re 1: is that the correct use of the verb “to gubb”?
    Seriously, sad that a good win should not be more gleefully greeted. It reflects how fans no longer know what to expect from the team. Has the light dawned and they can put three games worthy of their wages together. Rotherham are a lowly side and Derby will be a very different proposition…especially in a full home ground! Need to match Derby’s passion and intent like a derby game!
    Looking at the highlights of our defeats by them, it’s horrific to note how easily they broke through the middle…that’s without considering how much space behind our backs there is, and how dangerous they are out wide. Others are clearly thinking along similar lines. It would seem that someone stationed in front of the back four to mop up trouble would be a good move…but who?Going too defensive is what I fear, and probably Bruce’s inclination… Dawson and Davies need to be quicker picking up than of late too. Some nice goals on Saturday, and anything like that again could see an away win! However, the trepidation remains…please turn up City! Last chance saloon to show how good you are! COYH!

  9. Snaggletooth
    Snaggletooth says:

    Dr Seuss,

    nice conspiracy theory regarding the club driving down attendances to force a sale. Sadly the SMC has always returned peanuts to the council (annual sums in the *hundreds* of pounds most years, going back to when it opened) so I don’t think lower attendances can actually make that worse.

  10. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Good post Chris Stern. I don’t believe 6,000 have renewed.
    I also seriously doubt the legality of this contract.
    How many TBC’s?
    Ehab stated that away fans would be housed in the West Upper next season?
    So why is the North East corner greyed out?
    17,000 average attendance this season just proves are pricing was too high.

  11. Dr Seuss
    Dr Seuss says:

    Damn! Snaggletooth you’ve ruined my story. Bang go the movie rights.

    Well, that’s it then. They’re just doing it because they are bad bastards who hate any and all Hull City fans who were there before them. It’s a theory but it’ll never make a movie.

    Best of luck to City next weekend and all the best to those fans going to Derby. I won’t be there but whatever the Allams do or say it’s still my team more than it ever will be theirs and it always will be. Fuck ’em.

  12. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Good game, stretched Rotherham out of shape easily, don’t think Derby will be as easy but team goes into playoffs in good form. Upper West patrons can change seats 16th May, but if we reach playoff final we will not know what’s happening with Upper West, move elsewhere then go into premier league, moved for nothing, who organises this farce.

  13. Mike in Oz
    Mike in Oz says:

    As I sit here in a pub down-under reading this sorry tale I am shedding a tear. So much potential squandered. Where is our
    magical mystery benefactor….a Hill version of. Russell Crowe who almost overnight turned around the weakest yet proudest rugby league club in the NRL into the Premierahip winning South Sydney! Where is that Hull hero? There must be one……otherwise let’s try some crowd funding to get rid of these poisonous twats!

  14. Chester Tiger
    Chester Tiger says:

    When I was a kid, they used to let us in for a pound. They stuffed our pockets full of Needlers hard boiled sweets. They did anything to get us going back.

    When the chips are down at the club the kids will be the future revenue stream, why are they punishing future customers?

    Because that’s all they have learnt to view us as.

    Surely if the stadium is emptying a few thousand seats at heavily discounted rates are better then empty seats?

    Come on Ehab!

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