1. That was the takeover that wasn’t. Rumours had been growing for a day or two that all wasn’t quite right, with a semi-official deadline for Premier League ratification of last Tuesday for our new owners coming and going without news. By Thursday it’d apparently broken down. On Saturday, stories about its possible resurrection emerged. Only at Hull City, eh?
2. If the Chinese group, or a part of that group, has indeed failed a “fit and proper person”, then so be it. Having suffered under obviously unfit and improper owners for some years, we’re glad that such a test took place and that the governance of football clubs – the ultimate community asset – is taken seriously. Whether excluding of any parts of the group who fell foul of the test is enough to render the remainder suitable is anyone’s guess. We have an unhappy feeling that the whole sorry situation will still be rumbling unhappily along when the clocks go back.
3. Meanwhile, the unpleasantness with the Allams will remain. They remain temperamentally incapable of building any bridges or atoning for previous idiocy, as Allam Senior’s ridiculous comments on ITV a week ago demonstrated. All we can do is retain the soundtrack of opposition, lest they be tempted to think again about selling the club.
4. Mike Phelan says he and the current owners are miles apart when it comes to the terms of a proper managerial contract with his name on. We suspect the Allams want him to caretake until the end of the season whereas he, justifiably, feels he has earned a proper shot at the job and should receive the duration and recompense befitting a manager. If we’re not careful we’ll lose him altogether, but then again the Allams don’t exactly have a blemish-free track record when it comes to being careful, do they?
5. What a brilliant way to get a point at Burnley. Obviously on the statistics, it should have been a straightforward victory for City at Turf Moor, but a) statistics can’t put the ball in the net; b) neither can Adama Diomande (what a miss that was) and c) it’s never been plain sailing whenever we’ve gone to Burnley. So for Robert Snodgrass to cap a remarkable week personally with a sublime, curling free kick in the 95th minute of the game and snare a share of the spoils was most gratifying.
6. However, if we’re to implement high standards, and why not given the start we’ve had, this is a game we ought to have won. Not because we have a divine right to beat a Burnley side that finished above us, but for the way the match developed. Significant domination of possession. The creation of better chances. We ought to have won; at the very least, we shouldn’t have needed an injury time equaliser.
7. It was admirable, courageous and yet also eminently sensible for Phelan to pick the same starting XI for the fourth Premier League game in a row, despite the mad rush to get reinforcements into the squad. That said, we get the feeling David Marshall will be in goal against Arsenal next weekend, while Ryan Mason will also get a place in the midfield.
8. Ah, Arsenal. A brace of FA Cups hasn’t cheered up the moping Gooners, but they’ve won all five of their matches at the Circle and will be expecting a sixth. They’ll start as favourites, and on their day they can cut open sides with greater strength than ours. The beauty of the situation is that City’s unexpectedly strong start means we’ll have the confidence to believe we can take something from the game, and the comfort of knowing that it doesn’t greatly matter if we don’t.
9. What does matter is retaining the unity between supporters and players, whose strength is greater than at almost any time in our history. Think Great Escape 1999, and we’re about there. A special bond is presently shared by the players who’ve started this season and the fans who’ve delighted in their commitment and achievement. In the dog days of the Allam regime, it’s kept the club alive and made us hope that a brighter tomorrow is possible. Keeping it going won’t be easy. There’ll be defeats, individual errors and losses of form, and we’ll probably get into a few sulks of our own. But if they keep trying like they are, we’ll forgive them – and if that doesn’t always get the result we want, let’s do our bit by supporting them to the end anyway.
10. Off the pitch and among the backroom staff, a prominent individual left the club this week to take up another job in football. During his time at the club he’s seen a lot of turmoil but always did his best to rise above it, remaining personable and pleasant whenever we’ve spoken with him. Even if this hasn’t always been the happiest of times for our club, we hope he looks back at his time here fondly and hope to see him again in the future if his new role ever brings him back to Hull. Our thanks and best wishes, Ash Lord.
There’ll be no podcast this week, due to a crucial one of our number buggering off to do something much more appealing. Back next week, promise.