Things We Think We Think #293

TWTWT

1. Defeat and – eventually – little disgrace at Chelsea. City didn’t help themselves, but Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions of pounds to ensure that contests such as this are acutely unequal. And the first half was as unequal as you could hope to not see. For all of City’s brave talk, the first half precisely resembled a poor Championship side away to Champions League participants. It was tough to watch.

2. Perhaps we should allow limited credit to City for ensuring that a hammering didn’t become a record-breaking rout. Chelsea, aware that Barcelona visit next, didn’t seem too bothered about adding any more goals but City did also smarten themselves up a little, and while drawing a half isn’t an achievement, it was at least an improvement. It was a desperately poor tie to have been given anyway.

3. Elsewhere, our absence from league duty didn’t cause undue harm. Four of the bottom six were in action on Saturday, and none won. City remain outside the bottom three, with a home game in hand on most of them. We may be out of the Cup, but in terms of the Championship it wasn’t a bad weekend.

4. It’d be great to build upon this by taking something from Middlesbrough tomorrow evening. The pre-season title favourites have underachieved this season, but with only five points separating them from sixth place, they won’t have given up just yet. It won’t be easy. But the assured performance at Nottingham Forest nine days ago suggests that we haven’t given up just yet. A point would do just fine, even though unwanted results elsewhere could still see us draw and drop back into the bottom three. But imagine the transformative effect that a second successive win could have…

5. Then it’s Sheffield United. The match first, then the rest. Since cuffing City 4-1 in November their season has gone a little awry, and while we’d gladly swap places with a side in eighth, they must have hoped for more at this stage. It’s therefore a presentable opportunity for three points, three we’re sure to need whatever happens at the Riverside tomorrow. City’s heads may just be above the water at the time of writing, but they’re deep and choppy waters. It’s going to be a big week on the pitch, and by 10pm on Friday we’ll have a good idea of our likely fate.

6. It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens off the pitch as well. Anger at the mismanagement of the club continues to swell, and rumours about serious and sustained protests in the forthcoming Sheffield United fixture have grown. Ehab Allam claimed to be in possession of intelligence (yes, we know…) pointing towards a whistle protest during the game, akin to the one Brighton implemented at the Goldstone Ground when City visited in the late 1990s. It’s a cracking idea from a man few ordinarily associate with understanding football fans, and it’d certainly be effective.

7. The big question is whether it should happen. It’s proven predictably divisive. And we absolutely understand why some City fans don’t really fancy it. It’s a bit confrontational, it could interrupt the night’s football – or potentially even terminate it, it’s just all a bit too much. But we’d urge those wavering supporters to look at the paucity of options now open to City fans. Talking to the Allams doesn’t work, because they refuse to listen. For years they’ve been told what we want, and they haven’t acted. You cannot reason with fundamentally unreasonable men. We can’t even trust their promises to begin a process of meaningful change, because Assem Allam repeatedly promised not to try to change City’s name without consultation, only to renege upon this pledge within days. However, we know that protests affect them. The stress balls against Forest earlier in the season dragged them to the table. So why not?

7a. There are two arguments you can summon against it, and neither really stack up. Firstly, it affects the team. Except that no evidence exists for that. Lack of investment in players affects the team; fans driven to desperation by negligent owners does not. And the second argument is that City will be harshly punished for a disrupted game. And again, that isn’t supported by facts. Coventry City, Leyton Orient, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic have all staged in-game protests in recent times. Can anyone remember the sanctions handed down to them? Exactly. Ehab’s suggestion of points deductions and/or games being played behind closed doors is ridiculous scaremongering designed to suppress dissent, because no precedent exists for such drastic punishments.

8. So on balance, we have no issue with protests on Friday. Something needs doing – we cannot simply let the Allam family drive this club to the wall. Those planning the protests should still tread carefully, if only for their own sake. But if they want to proceed, then so be it.

9. It’s truly astonishing that the mere prospect of supporter protest led to Ehab seriously considering not selling tickets for the game, and only yielded seven days before the fixture itself. What the hell kind of dysfunctional football club genuinely ponders not selling tickets for its own fixtures? The Allams have done a lot of incredibly stupid things, but this could have been right up there.

10. There’ll be no Amber Nectar podcast tonight – we’re going to leave it until Wednesday to incorporate the Middlesbrough fixture instead. Meanwhile, we’ve a bit of an anniversary coming up on that day as well – stand by for a trip down memory lane…

33 replies
  1. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    Thanks as ever for an interesting read. Disagree with you on the Chelsea game. You are far too kind.

    City were a disgrace. From £4m Kevin Stewart’s lazy giving away of the ball in the second minute to cost us a goal, City were not up for it. Meyler’s shoddy penalty miss was shocking. Campbell opting to pass square when through and a few yards out near the end summed up what a non-striker he has become. No one had a good game. You’re right of course that Chelsea have spent much more and are better. Defeat in itself is no disgrace. The way it happened was.

    I noticed, in the post-match euphoria after his relegation-fighting League One outfit battled for a draw against much richer and much better Spurs, that Rochdale manager Keith Hill actually took time out to say that he’d watched Hull City’s approach against Chelsea and decided that no way was his team going to be like that, playing as if in awe of the opposition.

  2. Tom
    Tom says:

    Chelsea bore me to death passing it at the back, Mourinho as manager instilled it and has certainly made me disinterested in Man Utd games since but still regularly on tv!

    Myler isn’t a penalty taker, he wasn’t distracted by Will-I-Am he has the faith but not the technique.

    Interesting money from game being same amount to buy a defender we were short of for the actual game.

    Relegation actually works against the Allams making more money from selling the club, whatever division Hull will rise once we have a capable owner

  3. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    The protests should go ahead. Doing nothing achieves nothing.

    Moreover, Ehab clearly doesn’t like protests. Some discomfort may just encourage him out the door a few months earlier, you never know.

  4. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    1. Have to agree with Jimmy Weekly on the Chelsea non performance.
    The first half was truly embarrassing.
    Stewart was shocking!
    Contrast this with Rochdale and it highlights just how bad City have become.
    2. Ehab desperately trying to stop any kind of protest on Friday, coming up with empty threats and trying to encoke censorship is pathetic.
    Given the circumstances, people have a right to peaceful protest.
    My only request would be to do it when we’re not in an attacking position.

  5. Blackadder
    Blackadder says:

    Protest by all means but a protest that interferes with the game in any way will be counter productive in my opinion, I detest the Allams but stopping the game will not be welcomed by both sides and most of the supporters. The FA would certainly welcome the opportunity to have the rest of City’s home games played in an empty KCOM stadium, thereby making relegation almost certain. Nothing will change until the owners are gone, protests or no protests, intervention from the FA would play right into Ehab’s hands, he would look like the wronged owner and it would make the supporters look like the villains.

  6. Phil Rudderforth
    Phil Rudderforth says:

    On balance I agree with Blackadder – they love to feel wronged do that bunch.

    As for precedents? They are there to be broken.

  7. JohnK
    JohnK says:

    Was I watching a different game on Friday night? City were pathetic, superbly summed up by Meyler’s penalty miss.
    Re protests, I think you are trying to provide a balanced view in this post, which is not your usual approach and therefore it does not come across with the sincerity required. Why don’t you just promote protests if that’s what you feel but provide fans with suggested parameters to protest within, like not spoiling the game etc.

  8. Michael Coates
    Michael Coates says:

    I’ve downloaded my whistle app! But if it’s going to be a pitch invasion please could Ehab provide easy access so us OAPs came partake easily.
    Seriously though enough is enough, it’s time to make the owners take note.
    The fans are not happy at all by the lack of progress through discussion or lack of discussion after that last meeting debacle.

  9. Cayman Tiger
    Cayman Tiger says:

    There should be protests, absolutely. But whistles? No – in the old days if someone in the crowd used a whistle that was regarded as cheating, nothing more nothing less. Not an attempt to genuinely make a protest. Anything but whistles, balls of all types, red cards, invasion, 10,000 strong wanker salute at the cameras chanting Allams fuck off, whatever, just not whistles.

  10. Les
    Les says:

    “you are trying to provide a balanced view in this post, which is not your usual approach”

    Such winsome words, JohnK.

  11. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Love the idea of using your phone app for the whistle!
    However this is the KCom stadium where Wi-fi availability is harder to find than the Allams.
    Why is Ehab directing his allegations solely at the North Stand?
    Divide and rule tactics?
    From reading the posts, I think the consensus is to protest peacefully and be careful not to upset the delicate nature of our team 😂😂😂
    If whistles are deemed to be cheating, then there are plenty of other noises to download, sirens, hooters?

  12. Tigeral58
    Tigeral58 says:

    Why don’t we support Ehab by chanting such things as “we’re the best run club in the league”, or goad the Sheffield United fans with “our catering is better than yours”. This could be followed by everyone falling around laughing as in Life Of Brian’s “Welease Bwian. Just a thought.

  13. Ray
    Ray says:

    What a pathetic fucking joke you lot are. Do you actually consider yourself as grown mature adults? Gun control; that’s worth protesting about. The death of people because their benefits have been withdrawn. That is worth protesting about. The attempted destruction of the NHS by this appalling government. Those are the sort of things that deserve protests. You idiots are complaining about the Allams, simply because they have a different opinion to you on the best way forward for the club. Grow up. If these were owners like Lloyd, Fish or Pearson in his latter incarnation, then yes, fair enough. That is the point though, isn’t it? It is this attempt to hang onto the club’s small thinking mentality. There is no sign of any ambition for this club from the whinging few. Where are your other ideas for making this club into a Premier League force, or a club that could challenge for a place in Europe? You don’t have any, but you cannot stand those who are more ambitious than you are. It’s to be hoped that CCTV will pick out any fan causing trouble, or disrupting the game. Hopefully, they will be identified, publicly shamed and preferably banned from the club. What a load of losers.

  14. Les
    Les says:

    I love your posts Ray. I love that you’re so keen to advertise how wilfully ignorant you are on what these people are doing to the club. Lloyd is a good analogy, as they’re as brattish and petulant as he, only with added bleeding the club dry to enrich themselves.

    Funny that you think people are only capable of speaking out on one issue at a time, is that a window into your tiny mind?

  15. Jimmy Weekly
    Jimmy Weekly says:

    Ray first came on here as the voice of sweet reason, but the angry shouty man didn’t take long to appear. Cheer up Ray. There’s a lot more serious things to get angry about than the odd protest at City.

    My ideas for making this club into a Premier League force, Ray?

    Start by an ambitious ownership instead of one that so disillusioned Steve Bruce that he walked out, has so disillusioned the fanbase that half the stadium is closed/empty, and has so failed to keep a decent squad together in the summer before last that relegation from the Premier League was likely before the season started.

    Remember that photo that Curtis Davies tweeted of 9 players, calling it ‘Hull City squad photo 2016/17′ with a couple of weepy face emojis and #TheBigLeague? That was our club captain bemoaning the state the owners had let the team get into just after promotion to the Premier League.

    I’m not protesting because of differing opinions. I’m protesting because the owners are wilfully undoing precisely what you imply you want, a decent Premier Club.

  16. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Ray: ” …..but you cannot stand those who are more ambitious than you are.”

    If “those” refers to the Allams, then explain how that ambition has got Hull City to where it is today? Your post is contradicted by the facts.

  17. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    Ray, just like Ehab, your communication is horrific.
    There are more important things going on in the World yes but true City fans live for the next game and yes it is important to us.
    Yes under the Allams we did enjoy the greatest period of success in our history.
    However the infrastructure of the club is reminiscent of Pompeii.
    An empty shell.
    So if the hard working, fee paying fans wish to demonstrate peacefully, that is their prerogative.
    Ps. please don’t bring your left wing politics onto a football site.

  18. gjhdurham
    gjhdurham says:

    Well the Cup draw at Chelsea was possibly the worst…under the circumstances… that we’ve ever had. I was wondering what our biggest away defeat ever had been…while hoping to be surprised! Thought the worst at halftime, but some improvement and off the gas from them was a relief. Those comparing Wigan and Rochdale are ignoring these were home ties for them, Spurs played a weakened team with Son misfiring, and Man C had several players misfiring in spite of high possession. However, these two sides produced magnificent team performances to get results…aided by home support! There has been an increased tendency to lump on City players from some and this is not healthy. Some actually want to see relegation. Pathetic!
    My view on Chelsea performances…from MotD… Marshall went down like a lurching tree and didn’t put his arms out. Might have stopped one intomthe corner with a better dive. Did he think it was going wide or was he unsighted? McDonald half turned away from one shot that scored. Contrast Maguire flinging himself in to save a replay. Stewart wasn’t very good, but most in midfield were poor first half. One ball loss…a goal?…was from a hospital pass from a centre back. Lot of wrong decisions. Irvine headed goal wards..to the keeper…when there were two free in the middle for example. Meyler’s penalty was hit quite well but at a good height when the keeper went the right way. Disappointing… As for the moronic twats that posted that Wilson injured himself doing an exaggerated dive, take another look. He was felled! Good example of how so called supporters are attacking the players.
    But the main problem was Willian was on fire! Ever shot on target… hard and to the corners. A couple of games ago he missed every
    time! We move on…
    With the injury situation anything from the Riverside would amaze. Must keep a hold on Traore, who’s playing more consistently. Fast, tricky and hard to stop. Is their expensive striker injured? Despise their manager, so pleeese…
    Les…yes, the Allams are taking cash out, but they did put a lot in! Enrich themselves…? Some might say they’re entitled to some profit, but they’ve certainly fouled up 3? Transfer windows in the process …and the problems are now very evident. Bit concerned that a whistle protest may adversely affect in a number of ways, but whatever, can’t see it hastening them going… Still cash to get back…

  19. Les
    Les says:

    The biggest lie of all was the first one, that the Allams ‘sunk’ £70m in atvthe outset. That figure included the £40m of debt taken on, but that debt still exists, it has never been paid off, but money is made on it year on year in the form of ‘loan’ interest. People forget that the club has always received parachute payments since they’ve been here, the success had while they’ve been here was financed by money generated from our first promotion to the Premier League, before their time.

    The reason many people, such as your friend and mine Ray, give them an easy ride is that first lie, which has never been challenged in the press.

    No one objects to owners making a modest profit, Adam Pearson did so and fair enough, he took us from 4th to 2nd tier and got us on a debt free keel. What the Allams are doing is not modest, they’ve reduced the club to a husk so they can take most of the parachute payments, they’ve not slowed down how much they take out of the club in a time of consecutive wilfully poor close seasons that have left us prepared only for relegations.

  20. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    If there was an accurate macro analysis of the Allams’ financial management of Hull City we would see really where the money has gone.

    For example, where did the sales surplus go from Maguire, Clucas and others? Is Mason’s fee repaid to the Allams through insurance? I’d imagine so, in which case it negates Allam claiming he’s still paying installments on Mason. How much has all this interest added up to that the Allams have paid themselves? How much of the total parachute payments has been spent, and where is the rest of it?

    The younger, more arrogant Allam’s attitude was clear from the Burnsy interview: “If we bought a forward for ten million, I’d have to raise the price of the club by ten million”. There will be no further investment in City, only extraction of more assets.

    In reality I believe the Allams are well up on their investment, only the books show a paper loss.

  21. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Ray, answer two questions:

    1/ Do you believe that changing the club’s name to “Hull Tigers” would have led to serious far eastern riches for the club?

    2/ Do you believe that the Allams should have been given the stadium for free, as a gift from Hull City Council?

    I imagine you’d interpret the above two moves as “ambitious” for the Allams.

  22. Ray
    Ray says:

    Les, as per usual, you cannot come up with a decent argument. The whole point is that in comparison with what is going on in the world, the protests against the Allams are childish and pathetic.
    Ambertigerfan, I don’t know whether Hull Tigers would have brought untold riches. What I do know, given the perilous history of the club in living memory, it was almost criminal not to try and see if there was any potential for extra income, especially when we were in the Premier League. As far as the Allams being given the stadium, then I could see potential there also. The area around the stadium is an eyesore.The car park area is like the remains of a battlefield. What a welcome for visitors to the area. Not to mention the potential for improved sports facilities and jobs that we could have had. I think many on here need to go to Specsavers, their view of life is so short sighted.
    As far as the Allams “gift” is concerned…If I allowed someone to borrow my credit card in order to get themselves out of trouble, whilst at the same time accepting a bit extra for the offer, I would see that as fair and reasonable. I would expect to contribute something as a thank you if that offer was made to me. Too many people didn’t understand there were different forms of gift, the mistake was made and others followed like sheep.
    The problem now is that many of the fans have forgotten how infantile the original protests were. Some have jumped on the bandwagon, simply because they are like sheep and protest for protest sake. We’ve all got bored with it. It is not doing anyone any good. the only people who seem to be getting anything out of it are the losers who appear on TV to be interviewed. They get their two minutes of fame, while we sit there thinking, “Ahh, now I understand. I know the type.”
    Forget the protests. Most of us go to football to be entertained. Not to be pissed off by a bunch of protesting numpties.

  23. adamhull
    adamhull says:

    Ray says “They get their two minutes of fame, while we sit there thinking, “Ahh, now I understand. I know the type.”

    As we are all now thinking about Ray, except his two minutes of fame is only within the comments section of a website he seemingly loathes.

  24. Les
    Les says:

    “Les, as per usual, you cannot come up with a decent argument.”

    Ahaha! This from the man who thinks people critical of the despicable things the Allams have done, such as removing concessions and booting disabled children out of the arena to have an indoor facility that isn’t up to Academy spec and isn’t used by the Academy, don’t want Hull City to be in the Premier League.

    When it comes to intelligence Ray, your self image does not conform to reality.

  25. Bill Carson
    Bill Carson says:

    I have to agree with Ray on the area around the Stadium, it is an eyesore.
    However the list of misdemeanours cited by Les are also true.
    Whatever happened to cheap tickets for all too, that could have been a tangible gift.

  26. Ambertigerfan
    Ambertigerfan says:

    Ray: :Ambertigerfan, I don’t know whether Hull Tigers would have brought untold riches. What I do know, given the perilous history of the club in living memory, it was almost criminal not to try and see if there was any potential for extra income, especially when we were in the Premier League. As far as the Allams being given the stadium, then I could see potential there also. ”

    Put simply Ray, you and I do not agree at all on the above two matters. Changing the name and giving the stadium away is just wrong. It’s a matter of values and history.

  27. Rottenborough
    Rottenborough says:

    Ray,

    “Too many people didn’t understand there were different forms of gift” you say. Eh?

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gift

    “Gift; noun; a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present”.

    You don’t pay for gifts Ray. If you do they’re not gifts, see.

    You clearly are unable to distinguish a gift from a loan, and an interest-bearing commercial loan following due diligence at that.

    As I’ve said before, your posts are a load of balls.

  28. Baby Chaos
    Baby Chaos says:

    I never read the comments unless there’s more than a dozen, this usually indicates some daft cunt has come up with a piss poor argument against those they should be in solidarity with and made themselves look a right tosser.

    I was right.

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