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MIKE PHELAN SACKED BY CITY

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Mike Phelan has this evening been sacked by City.

The club are bottom of the Premier League following a summer of diligent, methodical sabotage by the Allam family, and Phelan – who has indeed erred on occasion but also got a ridiculously slender squad of middling Championship ability to be vaguely competitive and even sporadically entertaining, is that appalling family’s preferred scapegoat.

What a sordid, squalid, wretched shambles our club has become.

Thanks for giving it a go, Mike.

Fuck you Assem and Ehab.

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HCST call for Swansea boycott

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It’s been advocated by many in recent days, including us, and now the most influential fans’ group, the Hull City Supporters’ Trust, has now recommended a full boycott of next month’s FA Cup tie against Swansea at the Circle.

Their full statement can be found here. We’ll be returning to this next week, and we heartily endorse their call to give this game a miss if you possibly can. An empty stadium will hopefully demonstrate what the future holds if the Allams continue with their refusal to sell the club to somehow who will run it properly.

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NEWS: City legend Brian Bulless dies

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Former City winger Brian Bulless, who made more than 350 senior appearances for the club, has died at the age of 83.

His grandson Dan Lawrence announced the news via Twitter today.

Bulless was a local boy who joined the Tigers as a schoolboy in 1949 and made his debut as a 19 year old in April 1953, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Southampton. Over the next three years he was guided gently into first team football and became a regular throughout the late 50s and early 60s, winning promotion from Division Three in 1959.

His team-mates regarded him highly, praising his capacity for hard work and his technical ability. In an era when players often only had one position, Bulless was also unusually versatile, able to play as a  midfielder or left back as well as an out and out winger.

He suffered a knee injury in 1963 against Reading and his comeback proved futile, lasting just two games. At the age of just 30, he was forced to retire after 326 league appearances, scoring 30 goals and a further 31 games in the two domestic cups.

At the time, manager Cliff Britton felt City were on the verge of something great and such was his high opinion of Bulless, he bought Ian Butler to replace him.

Bulless worked as a joiner after his playing career ended, retiring in 1998, and continued to support City for the remainder of his life, even promoting the No To Hull Tigers campaign in recent years. Our sympathy is with his family.

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NEWS: City draw Swansea in FA Cup

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With the excitement of a League Cup semi-final still all-consuming, it’s time for City to begin focussing on another knockout tournament – the Football Association Challenge Cup.

Automatic third round entrants for the twelfth season in a row and the 2013/14 runners-up, our century-old quest for the competition will begin its latest attempt with a tie against our Premier League relegation rivals Swansea City.

It couldn’t have been less inspiring if it tried, really, though the consolation for City, assuming progress in the FA Cup is of interest to manager and club, is that Swansea are likely to be even less bothered by the tie due to the thankless long journey in the midst of a relegation scrap.

The game will occur anytime between January 6th and 9th, though you can bet everything that television companies will not be wanting to alter the kick off time of this one, so be prepared for a standard Saturday afternoon occasion.

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NEWS: City draw Man Utd in League Cup semi-final

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City have drawn Manchester United in the semi-final of the League Cup. The first leg will be played at Old Trafford on the week commencing January 9th, the return leg back in Hull on Wednesday 25th.

It’s a reward, if that’s quite the term, for last night’s thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Newcastle, and is of course our first appearance in this stage of the competition.

It isn’t our first meeting with them in this tournament, however. City lost a two-legged second round tie 6-0 on aggregate in autumn 1987, which forms part of a record of twelve games without victory over the Red Devils stetching back to 1974.

Even allowing for Arsenal’s surprise defeat, there was no prospect of an easy tie, or even one City would be given much of a chance of winning. Nonetheless, we’re making history just by being there, and they have the potential to be memorable occasions – competition rules state that City are entitled to 10% of tickets for the first leg, meaning that the Tiger Nation should be 7,500 strong.

We’re 16/1 to win the competition, but then again we’ve routinely caused surprises over the last decade. Bring on another.

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NEWS: City draw Exeter in League Cup (away)

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City have this evening been drawn against Exeter away in the second round of the League Cup.

Now named the EFL Cup and evidently not regionalised at this stage, last season it gave us a hugely enjoyable trip to Accrington Stanley; this mammoth midweek trip is unlikely to see a repeat of the fun or quantity of City fans in attendance – though barring a similar draw in the FA Cup, it’ll be the only time this season we’ll have a terrace to stand on.

It’s our first trip to St James’ Park since a demoralising 3-1 defeat in August 2002, a match City led before Lee Sharpe (yes, him) levelled for the Grecians and everything went horribly awry when Greg Strong was sent off before half-time.

Exeter lost their opening game of this season 2-0 to Blackpool on Saturday before impressively overcoming Championship Brentford in the first round of this competition yesterday. They finished a doughty 14th in last season’s League Two.

The tie will be played on the week commencing Monday 22nd August, just days after the lengthy Premier League trip to Swansea. Ouch.

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NEWS: Diamé leaves City for Newcastle

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The transfer of Mohamed Diamé to Championship side Newcastle has been confirmed.

The news that Diamé, scorer of THAT goal at Wembley just 67 days ago, was potentially on the move was first reported on Monday when Rafael Benítez’s club met the puzzlingly low £4.5m release clause written into his contract and the deal has now been done, despite the Tigers’ ridiculously late counter-offer of a new contract.

Diamé had not flown to Austria with City ahead of this evening’s friendly against Turkish Süper Lig side Çaykur Rizespor, and he will never rejoin those who won at Wembley. He departs after two years in East Yorkshire with 58 appearances and 13 goals to his name. Erratic but prodigiously gifted, it’d have been hard to see him being replaced even without the crisis presently engulfing the club.

He spoke with great affection towards Steve Bruce following his departure from the club, and it’s clear that Ehab Allam’s inept handling of the ex-City boss and the club in general is continuing to have grave repercussions, highlighted by one of our best players deciding that life in the Championship is preferable to remaining in the Premier League with City.

What a mess.

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STEVE BRUCE QUITS CITY

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The previously slow motion disintegration of Hull City AFC has seen a dramatic acceleration this afternoon, with the news that Steve Bruce has quit the club.

There’ll be much more to come on Bruce’s legacy as City’s manager, which by common consent has combined both unrivalled success with a faint air of underachievement.

However, it’s clear that following the Allams’ latest reneging on a sale, no new signings, rumours of no money to spend and Bruce’s own disappointment at not being appointed as the England manager, life has been made intolerable for him at the club. Whatever one’s views of Bruce, he’s been one of the few stabilising influences at a club torn apart by the Allams’ contemptible behaviour. Without him and with rumours of players “fuming” at developments, no additions to a squad ravaged by pre-season injuries and little prospect of any decent manager wishing to work for that ghastly family, our prospects look bleak.

Farewell, Steve. Thanks for everything.

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NEWS: HCST confirm City’s concession intransigence

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The Hull City Supporters’ Trust have confirmed that Hull City AFC are still refusing to comply with Premier League rules requiring member clubs to provide concessions on tickets for the forthcoming season.

HCST chairman Geoff Bielby, along with other Supporters’ Trusts, met the division’s executives yesterday and their report of that meeting states:

The Premier League confirmed however that Hull City do not accept they should have to comply with this rule. This remains an ongoing issue between the Premier League and the club.

Quite how this will be resolved is anyone’s guess. City and their wretched owners need the Premier League and its vast riches far more than the Premier League needs us, meaning that compelling the Allams to obey the rules ought to be fairly straightforward if they really wish to; and it’s hard to see why the Premier League will make an exception for City and set a dangerous precedent that clubs far more powerful than ours could exploit.

Either way, well done to HCST for continuing to press this issue on behalf of City fans, a qualifed thanks to the Premier League for at least listening, and continued shame upon Hull City AFC for their disgraceful attitude towards their own supporters.