Things We Think We Think #239


1. There’s no fun in losing, even if the game that resulted in defeat was highly enjoyable and exciting. That said, if we’re to lose games (and there is a pretty good chance we’ll lose a few more between now and May) then it’s better to lose as we did at West Ham, than it was at Middlesbrough. Since City meekly lost beside the River Tees, seemingly resigned to the fate of relegation, the Tigers have shown some fight, some pride, some enterprise and they’ve made us feel a stirring of pride in them as a consequence, even if we’ve picked up just the solitary point out of the nine on offer.

2. City were nothing short of magnificent at the oddly rebranded Olympic Stadium. They took the game to the hosts, fashioned several goalscoring chances and pretty much dominated proceedings. Only some fractionally errant shooting, which saw the ball strike the uprights rather than the netting, saw us come away without the point(s) we we so richly deserved.

3. A trio of young players, Harry Maguire, Andy Robertson and Sam Clucas were a revelation against West Ham. The post-Boro transformation of Clucas, no longer shackled by solely defensive duties, has been rewarding to witness.

4. West Ham remain a joyless club, with charm-free supporters, now viewing their football in a purpose-built, state-funded stadium, albeit one with a purpose that wasn’t and never will be football. Still, they won the World Cup, something of which they obviously seldom choose to remind us, and so probably deserve a taxpayer-funded luxury home, don’t they? Leyton Orient? Nah, you don’t count. And, to top it all, the spectacularly overhyped Mark Noble, beloved of the media but rightly ignored by England managers and disliked by City fans for being so crap on loan with us, scored the only goal. We were irritated by his being described by one TV commentator as “ever-reliable”, given that he had earlier headed the ball, unchallenged and entirely panic-stricken, against the frame of his own goal. Not the actions of someone “ever-reliable”. Had he ever been allowed within dashing distance of an England cap and done that on duty for his country, you can imagine it would have been easier to just blame John Stones instead.

5. Defeat at Tottenham earlier in the week was easier to bear, just because it was, well, Tottenham. They’re as a good a side as West Ham are not. Our last four league meetings at White Hart Lane have ended 0-0, 1-0, 2-0 and now 3-0. The only reason we don’t bank on there being a 4-0 reversal next time we play them is because we don’t actually know when that will be, and it won’t be in the same stadium anyway.

6. For all that, at 1-0 down there was that moment when Jake Livermore should have scored. He had two chances, one as a result of the other, and couldn’t put either of them away. Even though Jake’s job isn’t to score goals, and we’d have probably had to endure the slightly sick-making spectacle of his refusing to celebrate the goal had it gone in, he still should have stuck it away. That a hitherto complacent Spurs then went up the other end and secured the points in minutes was as inevitable as it was disheartening.

7. The holiday period. Home games against Manchester City and Everton, then the seasonal highlight of a trip to West Brom. Nine points? Stop it. Seven, six, five, four? Optimistic. Three? A start. None? Entirely possible.

8. The Hull City Supporters’ Trust’s call for a boycott of the Swansea FA Cup game is a sad but necessary step. It’s upsetting that the club is being wilfully mismanaged to the extent at which an organisation dedicated to encouraging support of the club feels it must advocate the withdrawal of that support for one game, and given that this has never been done for a home fixture before, a stark reminder of just how calamitous the Allams’ misrule is becoming.

9. So, we endorse the call for a boycott, and will not be attending. However, this must – MUST – become something that unites rather than divides, even if you choose to attend. And that is absolutely your right, incidentally. Anyone criticising a fellow City fan who wishes to go is unwise to do so. You may be on a run of games, or flying home as a special occasion, or just enjoy your Saturday afternoon at the football too much to give it up. Fair enough. But while we’ve never boycotted a City home game before, we HAVE given an away game a miss: Huddersfield, and Bubblegate, in Spring 2013. City fans left the away end deserted, and West Yorkshire Police have never since attempting a similar criminalisation of football fans. This boycott is merely a means to an end rather than the end itself, but by leaving the ground empty it’s the opportunity to make a clear point: that if the Allam family does not sell this club to someone who will run it properly, this is what our future could look like.

10. The American essayist Waldo Emerson’s once wrote: “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances: it was somebody’s name, or he happened to be there at the right time, or it was so then, and another day it would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” If we’re to believe in cause and effect, guess who we’d ultimately blame for City being bottom of the league?

15 replies
  1. Mike Coates
    Mike Coates says:

    Another well thought out article, but no mention of Marshall making way for Jakupovic.
    We are four adults with two youngsters who will boycott the Swansea game & I think protesters should make a point of supporting John Oxley also, after he was banned from the stadium for the rest of the season for his protest.

  2. John from Brid
    John from Brid says:

    I will not be attending the Swansea game, I attended several cup games last season but after being forced out of my West stand seat, getting an East stand seat, then being given back my original West stand seat I do not buy anything at the KC to make me feel better about being fu**ed about and not appreciated.

  3. David Lovell
    David Lovell says:

    Sad but accurate summary of where we are.
    Why can’t we get a clearer idea of what ‘They’ want?
    Nothing to do with support either from in the ground or from the city they represent.
    Can They just rot the club into the ground whilst getting the financial payback They require?

  4. joe red
    joe red says:

    I think its clear that the owners are not going to sell the club before the window opens. My feeling is that they want the money back that they’ve invested, and i think they’re gonna get it by milking the supposed £100mil that the Prem will gift them this year. Then regardless of our divisional status, flog us on the cheap next year. If they REALLY believed in community, they could take all that Prem cash, and then gift the club back to a supporters trust… but they don’t really care do they?

  5. Dave
    Dave says:

    Ha, As if you think they’ll walk after we get relegated – I can see them sticking around and cashing in the parachute payments. When we hit League One and the parachute payments have dried up, maybe they’ll get rid. Really hope I’m wrong, but I fear for the future. We’re another 2 members boycotting the Swansea game, I think this needs to be made more high profile. Maybe hand leaflets out telling other fans without the internet that the game is to be boycotted.

  6. Paleface
    Paleface says:

    Must admit I agree with Dave, the Allams will bleed the club dry until there’s nothing left and then flog it off on the cheap. I still can’t believe Ehab walks around the city unharmed. Regarding the Swansea boycott, what are the plans to make sure that all media outlets are made aware that it is an organised stay-away rather than just crap support?

  7. TigerCola
    TigerCola says:

    I agree with point 1. If the players play well and look like they care then it’s not too bad. Being beaten by poor teams when we don’t bother is unforgivable.

    The boycott for the Swansea game is a good idea. Why don’t HCST encourage us to go to another club in the lower leagues or in non-league? If there were groups of friendly, happy city fans in black and amber at other grounds it might get a little bit of attention. Bridlington Town and Goole AFC are both at home.I’ll probably go to Morecambe v Notts County in L2 or Barrow v Rochdale in the cup as two of the closest games to me.

  8. Dave T
    Dave T says:

    Yes excellent article and spot on responses regarding the intentions of the ‘ Evil one’.
    My only concern regarding the boycott of the Swansea game is the effect on the team.
    Clearly many of our players are up for grabs In January and some are likely to jump ship.

    As previously mentioned better Media coverage is essential. I’ve been amazed at the lack of awareness of away supporters regarding the way our club is being run and, the shock response when they find out. Latest were Palace supporters at an after match curry. But it goes back to our Play off Final and those empty seats. Sheffield Wednesday fans we spoke to did not have a clue what was going on.
    I have supported Hull City for Decades. We have had some bad times in the past ,bucket collections at Boothferry Park being one.
    Many good, having dragged the club from 92nd in the Football league playing Aston Villa in the FA Cup who were then top. We are now in the Premier League again where, we are told all clubs want to be, but what a sad state of affairs. The Allams may have saved the club but Ehab is Hell bent on destroying it just to get back at the fans.

  9. Eastmidstiger
    Eastmidstiger says:

    Very thought provoking , what a sad state of affairs, fans boycotting a game, I get the point but it also feels like we are letting the players down and the coaching staff, and any out of contract player could get his mind turned by playing in a empty stadium, ok after Borough we could say so what, but lately we have seen the team are trying. Paleface is spot on, organising a boycott is only half the job the rest is getting the media interested and more importantly understanding it, the empty seats at Wembley are still regarded by many as a result of a small poorly supported club, (trust me I don’t live in the area) if that was a protest (?) it failed miserably and the Allams came out unscarred. Talking of scars and to take another point from Paleface, imagine if this club was Liverpool FC and were being ruined by one family, that family would not be walking around Liverpool without an army of protection, their businesses would be disrupted by mysterious fires, their children would be threatened and terrified, I am not condoning this, one of the many reasons I don’t live in Liverpool, but it makes you think. Without the proper pre organised media coverage the boycott will only hurt the club and not the true villains.

  10. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    As always you capture the mood brilliantly.
    Last weeks exhilaration, replaced by the sombreness of the defeat in Stratford and a harsh winter of discontent.
    The boycott of our FA Cup is as valid as the abstinence of our support at Huddersfield.
    I would suggest publicising the boycott and the reasons for it, across our fan base and to Swansea’s.
    Our clan of 7 are all boycotting the match.

  11. Dave
    Dave says:

    I should’ve put this in my pervious post, but I have to admit Dave T and Eastmidstiger I did worry about the affect of a boycott, will it prevent signings in January and contract renewals? The answer probably is Yes it will. But then in the same breath even if we don’t boycott it won’t change that fact. Even if the players whose contracts are up did want to stay, do you really think Ehab would turn down any offers for players or even be able to manage a successful negotiation – just look at Tymon deal, 3 or 4 times that was agreed and it stalled at Ehabs door. It’s also been said on Humberside that “we’re in for loan players”, it’s clear we’re being milked dry.

    And… Remember they said they’d sell the club for a £1?? And everyone kicked off saying they didnt stick to that promise, maybe that’s still their plan, selling everything until it’s literally worth £1 and then sell it. Asset striping I think is the business term.

    I don’t take this boycott lightly and I’m gutted to miss a winnable game, but something has to happen now.

    I do feel there needs to be more marketing material / awareness and the advertising board maybe have been better used to simple say in huge letters, BOYCOTT SWANSEA ALLAMS OUT.

    Whatever happens we do need to stick together, we’re all Hull fans and we’ve been through a lot in the last 20 years.

  12. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    This boycott is aimed at bringing back concessions. The other massive issue that City fans have had with the Allams was the proposed name change. The HCST, and CTWD, were brilliant about this, running a sophisticated, well-argued campaign, to back the team not the regime. They engaged with the FA impressively around its own regulations, and advocated successfully to win the day.

    The best way to bring back concessions is to continue in this vein, engaging with the Premier League about its own regulations on concessions. I’m not against all boycotts, and the one at Huddersfield was superbly judged in relation to the issue at hand. But I’d hate the intelligent and literate campaigning of the HCST on the name change to give way to a Blackburn and Blackpool-like shouting at the wind.

    I want City to win games, stay in the Premier League, get to another cup final or two, play in Europe again. All of this is realistic. Support the team not the regime remains a good motto for the HCST.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward says:

    I’ve not been to the KC for over two years because of the current owners. I won’t go again until they have sold the club. I feel I bit annoyed that my boycott of the Swansea game is almost meaningless as I wouldn’t have gone anyway. The Allams have even deprived me of the satisfaction of that!
    I agree that the Swansea fans need to be made aware in advance of the boycott, and the reasons for it. The national media likewise.

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