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?