Things We Think We Think #231


1. Hull City AFC is a club in a deep, potentially existential crisis. Let there be no doubt about this, and let us not take false comfort in the remarkable ability of football clubs to survive situations that would consume companies in other industries. We are in a fight for our lives.

2. The situation had gradually worsened all summer. As the weeks have ticked by without new signings or new owners, frustration has mounted among City fans – and clearly, with the City manager too. His decision to quit (“mutual consent” our arse) has been the putrid topping on a cake of purest shite. It leaves us reliant upon untested juniors to fulfil fixtures, no manager, no new owners, bitter hostility on the terraces, a massive slump in season ticket sales and, frankly, a stench of despair about the club. Our prospects of surviving look abysmally weak.

3. Steve Bruce wasn’t perfect. After all we should never have been relegated in 2014/15, and his record when given big money to spend was not stellar, which is unsurprising when strikers are bought on the basis of YouTube clip scouting. Nonetheless, he is our most successful manager ever: he took us up in his first season, following that up with Premier League survival, an FA Cup final and qualification for European football. Although he massively faltered in 2014/15, he took responsibility for that failure and put it right the following season, taking us back to the Premier League once more, setting a League Cup run club record on the way.  His amiable nature and popularity with national media meant the club never truly became a laughing stock despite the unending attempts of the owners to embarrass us all with their stupid ideas and pig-headed obstinacy. Steve Bruce deserves our heartfelt thanks and respect for four tumultuous years that yielded far more on-pitch success than failure. He most certainly deserved to part ways with Hull City on better terms than he did, forced out by the smug-without-cause, integrity free Ehab Allam, a man ignorant of his own stupidity, with delusions of eminence.

4. How laughable was the statement about postponing the sale of the club in order to focus on squad strengthening? Well here we are on the other side of that announcement with no manager, no signings of note and indications that the Allams want to do the summer transfer window on the cheap. Their claims to want to ensure the club goes to a good home ring hollow, when the club is in more debt than it’s ever been and the fanbase wilfully disengaged.

5. On a national level, the press have started their usual speculation as to who the next manager will be, and bookies are laying odds. But it actually feels like it doesn’t matter. Steve Evans would make every City fan shudder as the current favourite for the job, but it makes no difference whether we get Steve Evans, Lee Evans or Linda Evans for as long as the same people remain in power to make that appointment.

6. One also wonders how attractive the job is. Known firefighters from the old school like Neil Warnock would take it, of course. It’s a Premier League role, after all, and few of those come up where managers outside the bracket of Premier League quality or experience feel like they may have a chance. But some of the names bandied about – Roberto Martínez, Tim Sherwood, others – will already be aware of the Allams’ reputation. Is our club, currently one of the 20 elite footballing organisations in England, now seen as too poisonous for any manager of reasonable self-respect to consider? They will have seen what Bruce has had to deal with and wonder whether their own egos, career prospects and reputations can withstand the heartache that inevitably attaches itself to the job.

7. The number of players who tweeted their sorrow and messages of thanks to the departed gaffer was notable after the news broke. Plenty of the senior squad owe their continued high-calibre careers to Bruce; one cannot help but feel a playing staff mutiny coming on, which would be entirely the club’s doing. It feels like an awful lot of transfer requests are going to be made in the coming days, if they haven’t already. Phil Buckingham described senior players as “fuming”, and it rings true – the ones who’ve seen it all before will know that this is absolutely not how you go about running a football club. At the end of the friendly at Scunthorpe on Saturday, which was played out to the constant soundtrack of supporter fury, the players very strikingly came over and applauded the supporters even as more anti-Allam chants rained down. The message it sent was unmistakeable; though of course, Ehab lacks the courage to witness such things for himself.

8. Scunthorpe also demonstrated that the supporters are now fully united. The name change once caused division between those opposed and those willing to hold their noses. But now, we feel like a support that is again pulling together. Opposition to the Allam family is absolute, and if it can be this pronounced at a friendly, they’d better believe it’s going to be savage when the season begins.

9. Savage among those present at least, for the actions of Ehab and co are guaranteeing swathes of empty seats next season. The redoubtable Hull City Supporters’ Trust revealed last week that the club, imaginatively, believes that Premier League rules simply don’t apply to them and there’s no need to offer the obligatory concessions. It’s beyond contemptible, and explains why the name Allam is increasingly spat out in this city. Some legacy.

10. Hull City AFC launch their home kit for 2016/17 later this morning. Eleven days ago, we promised to donate £50 to the Tigers’ Trust if City use their full, correct name during the launch. Our offer stands, and was matched by so many others that over a thousand pounds has been pledged to this charity if the club calls itself by its actual name. So, City, what’s it to be?

25 replies
  1. John Anderson
    John Anderson says:

    Excellent summary as always, I was at Scunny Saturday and there is no doubt that young, not so young and the old are united in wanting the Allams out of our club. Until this happens, as said, it doesn’t matter who they bring in as manager, nothing will change until they sell.

  2. Mark
    Mark says:

    At a time when we should be collectively drooling at the prospect of top flight football back in the EPL, having won the richest game in world football, we face what can only be described as an unmitigated disaster. What has happened to this club over the past 18 months is nothing short of criminal. Those responsible need to be shamed before the wider football community and held to account for their arrogance. This is not a business, no matter what anyone says. It’s a community of like minded souls, a family which comes together at the place we call home. This football club was here long before the current administration and will be here long after they have been forgotten. They should be caretakers – instead they have shown themselves to nothing short of common criminals, ensuring for themselves that they plunder it for what it’s worth and earning universal condemnation in the process.

  3. Alan
    Alan says:

    Great words Mark, can it get any worse, surely it can’t? Looking in from afar (Japan where nobody has the slighest clue about the Hull Tigers – so much for cornering the Asian market) it is truly shocking to see the club being grossly mismanaged & run into the ground at the same time. Isn’t it time the FA or the EPL intervened?

  4. Pat M
    Pat M says:

    Totally agree with all comments, it’s so sad and frustrating. The remark regarding Ehab’s lack of courage to face up to his self inflicted demise and that of the club is ring’s so true. On reflection there is one thing I disagree with, surely the 2 out of 10 on the Tomb rater is way above what they deserve !

  5. Syd
    Syd says:

    Absolutely spot on. Having been a follower for over 50 years, I’ve obviously endured far more heartache and worry than success and comfort, but this situation is the worst I’ve experienced. The moment Allam realised his grand plan of using our club simply to get his grubby hands on our stadium and its environs, he showed his true colours. Words cannot describe how I feel about what he has done and the manner in which he has done it. It’s not his club, it’s ours. Collectively the supporters of Hull City over the time it has existed have put far more money int the club than he ever has. And they didn’t charge ten time the current interest rate on their payments. And they won’t be getting any of it back.

    Reading some of the comments on the HDM article, it seems there are still a few who are prepared to defend this man, but I can only put it down to idiocy or lunacy. Thankfully the vast majority of fans are now all thinking the same and we all need to pull together to do what we can to save our club.

    Best wishes to you Steve. Nobody is perfect, but you will, without doubt, go down as a legend in the history of our club.

    Hopefully a buyer will be found, and soon. If so, there may be still enough time to prevent this season being a complete disaster. The heartaches and worry are set to persist for a while longer…

  6. The Beard
    The Beard says:

    “They’d better believe it’s going to be savage when the season begins”

    Too late. Militancy was needed from day one. Some tried taking the fight to them eighteen months ago. Where were the masses then? Pathetic. Pointless jumping on the bandwagon when the wheels have already fallen off.

  7. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    As usual, well said exactly what everyone is saying and thinks.
    This delusional family must believe in their own bullshit oops sorry PR.
    In most cases where the father has built a company up, he then passes away and then the son just cocks everything up, the Allams are doing it “live”.
    The name of Allam could have been held up high with some other Hull great families if a bit of common sense had taken place.
    Like many others I fear for Hull City this season,
    The lily-whites from Leeds are also run by a person with the same type of grandiose ideas, only thing they have in common is they are both ” foreigners”

  8. Dave
    Dave says:

    I know what I’m about to say will annoy some but please read to the end… I actually backed the Allams, through many of their schemes. Every time they came up with a new scheme, my mates would be shouting Allam Out, but I still kept thinking back to how they saved the club from the brink. It wasn’t until our trip to Wembley, the hours spent wasted trying to get tickets due to the club not sending everyone’s details to ticketmaster – then getting there to see rows upon rows of empty seats. And I think what upset me the most, was it just didn’t feel good – the same excitement wasn’t there, the same feeling was all over Bruce’s face too. And then now, the premiership, Bruce clearly pushed to the edge by the Allams, who rather then admit they don’t want him at the club – they tactically forced him out the door, by refusing to sign anyone – be it on a free or otherwise. One of the most experienced managers in the league – we forced out??! I fear the players handing in transfer requests as they thought they’d signed up to another season or two with Bruce. I could go on… no concessions, this apparent club sale etc etc. On a final note, how are you going to sell a club for 100 million which thanks to you looks destined for the Championship? Not to mention, Bruce was a massive asset for successful sale.

    You’ll be pleased to here, I’m fully on the Allam Out Campaign – there’s only so many times even the loyalist of loyal dogs can be kicked.

    I thought something like wearing a Red Tshirt instead of the team colours, might be another way of taking the red card idea to another level. Whatever happens we need to support the players at games, Leicester is a massive opportunity to pick up some points in a very difficult start to the season (That’s if they lose more key players and we have a team to put out).

  9. Dr Seuss
    Dr Seuss says:

    Re Bruce. I’m sorry yet glad. I’m sorry to see him go as I thought he was a good man although not the most tactically astute of managers. I’m glad he finally went of his own accord because this action hopefully finally saw off the arguments that the remaining Allam supporters put forward; that the interests of the club were more important than club names, memberships etc. Well now the manager has gone saying he couldn’t improve the team because of transfer restrictions. Where does that leave the Allam apologists?
    I must admit I do have a yen for Roy Keane to get the job. No, I think he’s shite too but oh, how I would like him to take on Ehab. You just know it would get physical. My money’s on Roy!

  10. Brian
    Brian says:

    Another group to come out of this smelling of shite is the FA and Premier League who seem to be adolescent in their dealings with Hull City AFC.The name change catastrophe refuses to go away with the allams giving the two fingered salute to anyone from that organisation and surely with the opening game of the season being live on the overpriced Sky Sports what kind of message will it send to a world-wide audience to see a half empty stadium and the owners being castigated by what crowd is there.Get your fingers out at the FA and assert some kind of authority instead of mewling like some castrated cat.

  11. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Total shambles!
    I almost don’t care what happens anymore and is this a darker period than 1981?
    So much to fix, so little time to do it.
    #New Owners
    #Reinstate Brucey
    #Squad rebuilding
    Etc, etc, etc.

  12. ann guy
    ann guy says:

    Absolutely agree Brian, time the FA and Premier League actually intervened in some way. No one, owner or not, has the right to bring any football club to it’s knees. Ambition and tradition, very succinct and so true. God protect us from megalomaniacs in the future, but for now, let us be rid of the two we currently have in,so called , charge! Good luck Steve, and thankyou.

  13. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    I I was buying the club, I think I’d want to decide who the next manager was going to be?
    I.e. I think Martinez is weak and wouldn’t want him.
    I’d also want to agree a transfer budget.
    How can we start the season flouting PL rules on concessions?
    What are our matchday ticket prices?
    Is there subsidised travel this season and if so for which matches?
    Total Shambles!!!!
    I’d have short odds 5/4 on The Allams still being in charge in May!

  14. Dr Seuss
    Dr Seuss says:

    I agree with you Bill. Why should they go? The money just rolls in this season whether they spend any on the team or not? I didn’t go to Wembley ( principled stand etc) and watched it on the TV with my wife and youngest son and his partner. They all jumped up when Diame scored and I must admit I was glad but I said to them at the time I wasn’t sure if this was the best outcome for the club because I couldn’t see the Allams shifting from the Prem gravy train trough. Its starting to look as if I might be right. In my life I’ve only really hated one other person and that was Thatcher but those two shysters are pushing for a place next to her.

  15. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Dr. Seuss – the way I’m feeling right now (totally deflated) I tend to agree with you.
    However the clamour to own a Premier League club, especially in the US and Far East SHOULD??? see us sold. The question is when and I wouldn’t bet on this happening this season. How much damage will be done in the interim?
    The sad thing is we all know what needs to be put right and these things are relatively simple.

  16. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    Bruce’s departure is a bit like his Birmingham exit, uncertainty over owners, money for new players. Maybe just a coincidence, but is worth bearing in mind as much as we dislike the Alaams.

  17. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    I’d like to know why the FA and Premier League are allowing Hull City to deny concessions to their own supporters and yet offer them to away supporters, pure vindictiveness by Ehab Allam that should not be allowed!

  18. Paul
    Paul says:

    Had the mis-fortune of seeing Allam jnr in the Millhouse, Skidby a few weeks back. The Mrs prevented me from saying anything to him but it spoilt my evening just seeing him there. I’m so glad we booed him at Wembley, probably the highlight of the day, which is quite sad really.
    When the old man is that ill and they are so hated why do they not sell? Because they are being vindictive that’s why. Hope I’m wrong but I sense another Oyston/Balckpool scenario.

  19. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    It’s difficult to disagree with much of what has been written in this post or the replies however I am trying to take a glass half full approach to the current situation.
    Regarding SB, I am sorry to see him go. He is a good man and his success with the club there for all to see. He is deserving of enormous credit and our thanks.
    However his departure does break the status quo. A new manager with credibility will want certain assurances and will need a contract that dictates these. Regrettably and ironically they will probably be assurances that SB was not able to get either because of faith in him, personal relationships with the owners or some other reason. I think this is what SB meant when he said that he left for the good of the club. He knew that he could do or get no more. A new face, with a new set of goals and requirements will perhaps stand a better chance. I’m not saying this is right but it could just be the reality.
    As far as the Allam’s are concerned, why would they want to dilute the value of the club? They are renowned for being smart investors and will know there is a need to speculate to accumulate or in this instance hold on to what you have got.
    I was pleased to read that they wish to have a new manager in place pre the Austria tour. This would suggest urgency and an understanding of the need to create stability, and quickly. I will watch with interest.
    Of course amongst all the speculation on potential managers one hopes that the likes of Neil Warnock, Steve Evans (that I haven’t read anywhere by the way) and Steve McLaren are not part of this process. Proven PL experience is needed along with an inspirational energy. I favor Roberto Martinez personally. he has experience of club like ours with Wigan and further experience at Everton, which didn’t really seem to be the big failure everybody would think. I would also be happy with Tim Sherwood and as much as a Ryan Giggs/Mike Phelan double act might sound nice I am not so sure it would be right.
    There is a old say. I am always in the shit it’s just the levels that differ. Well for those of use that remember many of the dark days of the 80’s and 90’s my view is that while we are in the shit, we have seen deeper levels.

  20. Rich
    Rich says:

    Yeah, makes you hanker for the good old days when all they wanted to do was change the name. Don’t it?

  21. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Bob Bradley Wiki page states “Bob Bradley is Not the Manager of Hull City AFC??? Interesting?
    Martinez and hos cringeworthy post match press conferences?
    Mad Mac but he is a Tiger at heart?
    USA Bob?
    Gary Rowett?

  22. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    “If the fans tell me to go I’ll go within 24 hours”
    Allam is in his very own remake of The Longest Day.
    The latest TWTWT is an excellent summary of the devatation caused to HCAFC by the Allams.
    I am sending a link to as many people as I can. it needs to be exposed as widely as possible.
    Nigel Pearson – left apparently unable to work with the Allams.
    Nick Barmby – sacked for mildly complaining about lack of transfer funds.
    Steve. Bruce – resigns due to similar reasons.
    The Allams want a yes man.
    We say GO GO GO!

  23. Officer Crabtree
    Officer Crabtree says:

    Rottenborough, just a few corrections.

    Nigel Pearson – left because he couldn’t stand the Allams. Followed by his backroom staff, now acknowledged as among the best in the country.
    Warren Joyce – keen on the job and had all but agreed to take it until he discussed anything at length with the Allams.
    Nick Barmby – sacked for very, very mildly complaining about our of transfer policy after being denied backing for his targets.
    Steve Bruce – leaves the club because he can’t stand Ehab. Oh, and transfers.

    We’ve also lost Steve Agnew in this time, again recognised as one of the better assistant managers in the game. Though his departure may not be Allam-related.

  24. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    The HDFail is reporting that Boro have bid £4M for Harry?
    If we sell him for £4M it will rank alongside Michael Turners sale! If Stones is worth £50M Harry must be worth £7-10M?
    Why would we consider selling him and to a relegation rival?
    Managers job between Martinez and Bradley, according to the bookies. The latter would surely mean a US takeover was imminent?

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