NEWS: Stadium meeting goes full circle

The Council’s stadium coordinator John Topliss met City fans at the Circle last night to address concerns over the project. It was clear that the fans present were unhappy about the reduction in capacity and concerned that Hull FC and their half-dozen supporters hold too much influence over proceedings.

Mr Topliss stated explicitly that the capacity reduction (from 30,000 to 25,000) had nothing to do with whining egg-chasers, nor is it what the council want, but they stand to lose £3 Million in funding if they go ahead with the larger capacity. Sports England, who hand out lottery money for projects like this, will not fund ‘other elements’ (developments peripheral to the actual stadium) if they feel the capacity exceeds ‘reasonable expectations of attendance figures’. However, the option to expand the capacity to 30,000 or higher exists. On display was a rather smart collection of artist’s renditions featuring a stadium comprising of a single tier bowl seating 20,000, with a second tier of 5,000 seats and 25 executive boxes making up a main stand. Topliss explained that any expansion would be facilitated by removing the roof of the section opposite the main stand and building upwards, laying a new roof above the added seats.

Contrary to claims from Ulleffcee fans that one stand will named the Threepenny stand (Threepenny…decimalisation occurred in 1971 for crying out loud!), Topliss stated neither the stadium or stands have been named and would most likely take on the name of sponsors (Groan, the BoyesBowl anyone?). He also dismissed any notions of having terracing in the new ground as that would contravene licensing laws for new stadia, and conceded that the football team would be the major tenant. Some fans expressed concerns about how revenue from gate receipts, catering, advertising etc. would be shared between the club and council, the project team leader implied this is open to negotiation but the landlords are likely to take rent directly from gate receipts (quite prudent if the current board are still around). When quizzed why this had not been sorted already, he claimed that running costs cannot yet be projected accurately, so the revenue share cannot be decided upon at this time.

After gaining approval from local government, the planning applications were submitted in  October, the Secretary of State’s office in Leeds is due to make a decision later this month. If planning permission is granted, Topliss explained, concept design will begin immediately and contractors will be invited to tender bids to undertake the work. Hull City then have six months to commit to the project.

It was added that buying Boothferry Park is an option being considered by the council, but David Lloyd’s asking price exceeded the property’s worth. The council have already reached an agreement with Ulleffcee to purchase the Bullshityard, sorry the Boulevard, for reserve and academy games, but Topliss insisted this agreement was not definitive, despite the squealings of FC’s obese owner Shane Richardson .

Topliss finished the evening saying he would convey our concerns to his political paymasters. He tried to remain upbeat but it was clear there were some questions he could not answer, and the projects realisation is far from guaranteed. Many left feeling the thing would never be built and will take a lot of convincing.

NEWS: Whitmore rested, more transfer speculation

Rumours are continuing to circulate that Theodore Whitmore could be on his way to Nottingham Forest, with some reports suggesting that the First Division club are lining up a £1m bid for the Jamaican international. It is not the first time Tappa has been linked with a move to the higher echelons of the Football League, Derby and Coventry have supposedly shown  interest and had scouts watching him at Boothferry Park. However, Brian Little has said in the past that no firm bids have been received, and it appears our top-scorer is going nowhere fast. Meanwhile, the dates for Jamaica’s World Cup qualifiers in 2001 have been announced. The Reggae Boyz have games on February 13/14th, March 24/28th and April 24/25th. This means Whitmore and compatriot Ian Goodison could miss the games with Leyton Orient (home, 10/2), Southend (away, 24/3), and Darlington (away, 21/4). The pair have been called up for Jamaica’s away game with El Salvador on Wednesday 15th November, but will not be missing Chesterfield away, as their flight to Kingston is not until Sunday. It is unlikely they will be risked against Kettering on the 18th though as they will not arrive back in England until Friday 17th.

Tappa has not trained this week due to an aggravated hamstring, but will be fit for the trip to the league leaders on Saturday. On the injury front, captain Justin Whittle is returning to fitness after damaging ligaments in his knee at Exeter three weeks ago. He has begun light training, but is unlikely to play for another fortnight or so, with the home game against Carlisle on the 25th the likely target. Meanwhile, Darlington boss Gary Bennett has refuted claims he is after out-of-favour striker Jason Harris. He has not figured in Brian Little’s plans this season, but the Quakers boss is not interested, despite the injury problems currently plaguing his side.

Tigers fans will be able to express their views and concerns about the new stadium at a forthcoming public meeting with project co-ordinator John Topliss. The meeting, organised jointly by the City Independent, the Tiger’s Co-Op and Amber Nectar, is scheduled for Thursday 9th November at the Circle Sports Club. Admission is free and the meeting kicks off at 7pm.

NEWS: Clint signs new deal

Clint Marcelle has signed another deal with City, extending his stay at Boothferry Park for another month. The Trinidadian has made thirteen appearances since joining the Tigers at the start of September, scoring two goals, one at Barnet (well, he’s claiming it but it looked like an OG) and one at Halifax. He has also made a few for others including Theo Whitmore’s fifth strike of the season against Darlington on Saturday. Though clearly not the answer to our goalscoring worries, Marcelle has added an extra dimension to our attack and has forged a good understanding with Whitmore. Some reports claim the board are reluctant to offer Marcelle a permanent deal in case he ‘gets lazy’, and prefer instead to hold the carrot of monthly extensions before the former Barnsley striker.

NEWS: Bradshaw sees red as reserves grab a point

Gary Bradshaw was shown the red card after just 25 minutes in yesterdays reserve game at Hartlepool. The youngster was booked twice in quick succession for failing to retreat 10 yards for a Gibbon Garrotters free kick. The stiffs were 2-1 down by this point, Craig Midgley netted twice for Pool on 15 and 20 minutes before Jamie Wood reduced the deficit a minute later with a penalty after Knowles fouled in the box. The scores were levelled early in the second half when Wood intercepted a back pass before beating ‘keeper Chris Porter to grab his brace. City then took the lead thanks to Jason Harris who put away a rebound after Ben Morley struck the post. The Baboon Bludgeoners equalised with three minutes remaining, Boyd slotting past Lee Bracey after racing on to a through ball.

Final score: Hartlepool Reserves 3 Hull City Reserves 3

NEWS: New stadium – capacity slashed, costs escalate

The Council has announced changes to both the scale and costs of proposed new stadium at the Circle. The capacity of the new ground, originally set at 30,000 with the option to expand to 40,000, has been cut to a fixed 25,000, with the extension option seemingly rescinded. Egg chasing fans will no doubt see this as a victory, as Hull FC fans, knowing that not even their obese frames could make a large ground look full, had been lobbying for a reduction in the capacity. This, however, is not the case.

The reduction is due to Sport England and the National Lottery saying they would hand out grants for a smaller stadium, but not a venture as grandiose as originally planned. Despite the reduction in capacity, the Council claim the project will cost far more than the initial estimate of £36 Million, probably amounting to £43 Million, perhaps even rising to £53 Million depending on the cost of structures peripheral to the stadium. The Council recently purchased the Bullyvard from GatesHull for £750,000, easing FC’s financial worries and confirming the egg-fondlers commitment to the project. City’s board on the other hand still have their hands up their arses and have failed to either commit to or decide against the move, this ultimately puts the stadium’s construction in doubt as it will not go ahead without City on board.

Rumours suggest the Council are in negotiations with David Lloyd to buy Boothferry Park, time will tell if there is any truth in that story. Tigers fans will be able to express their views and concerns at a forthcoming public meeting with project coordinator John Topliss. The meeting, organised jointly by the City Independent, the Tiger’s Co-Op and Amber Nectar, is scheduled for Thursday 9th November at the Circle Sports Club. Admission is free and the meeting kicks off at 7pm.

NEWS: Seven fans hauled before the courts

Seven Hull City fans have appeared before magistrates in York after being arrested for public order offences on Saturday. Six were apprehended before the game for drunken behaviour and one inside the ground for an alleged coin throwing incident. Overall the game went by trouble free, and seven people being arrested out of over 2500 travelling fans is hardly evidence of the rampage some were expecting. Some York pubs were deemed off limits to City fans after an incident last season when the Hole In The Wall pub was damaged. Arrests for drunkenness are not uncommon and take place week in week out at matches across the land, far more worrying are reports of some neanderthal hurling coins at players and officials during the game. This is not on, and the fact that referee Roger Furnandiz has mentioned this in his report means City could be in a spot of bother with the FA

We witnessed an incident in the Kempton during the Southend game when a woman saw fit to go rifling through her bag for a missile to hurl at the linesman, which upon finding a suitable item, she did. Presumably, these idiots are unaware of the potential repercussions of such actions. The FA’s powers are considerable in punishing clubs for offences like these, such as imposing fines and the temporary closure of stands, depending on the severity of the incident. Do these halfwits really want that? If so, they should re-evaluate their standing as a supporter of the club.

NEWS: FA Cup 1st Round draw

The Tigers have been drawn away to non-league side Kettering Town in the first round of the FA Cup. The ‘Poppies’ were runners-up in the FA Trophy last season but are currently languishing third from bottom in the Conference. The Rockingham Road outfit beat Chesham United 2-0 away to progress to the first round proper. The tie will take place on Saturday November 18th and has been declared all ticket.

NEWS: Roary in transfer shocker!

Exeter City have taken a few players off our hands in recent years, Neil Whitworth during the summer just gone and Bob Dewhurst the year before. But in a unprecedented move, the Grecians have poached the man who plays the Tigers’ heroic mascot Roary! Since his debut at the start of the 1999/2000 season, Roary has become somewhat of a phenomenon, grabbing national headlines after his ejection from the Hayes v. City FA Cup tie for grabbing the Hayes keepers arse and inciting the home fans. He also had a ruck with Cyril the Swan at the Vetch and starred in AXA’s commercials screened during the FA Cup final. Evidently, Roary’s performance at the recent league game at St. James Park impressed the Grecians commercial department so much, they offered him a job the very next day, asking him to move to Devon to develop and play the Cow Milkers’ soon to be unveiled mascot Alexander the Greek.

It appears the Bosman Ruling governing players extends to mascots too, otherwise we’d surely be demanding a cool million for the services of one of the lands most famed fur-suited fiends. The man who has filled the suit for the last 15 months made his last performance on Saturday. Though the suit will remain and no doubt be filled by a new incumbent, Roary will never be the same. To the man who made us smile even though the football was crap, the man who put Hull City in the headlines for something other than unpaid debts, the Tiger Nation salutes you!

NEWS – Winding-up Order Delayed

City have been granted a temporary reprieve on (yet another) winding up order, this one served by Customs and Excise. A court hearing today ended with the Tigers being granted 28 days to clear debts. This is just one of many unpaid debts that has led to court action being taken against the club, in January the tax office served a winding up petition over PAYE arrears of £25,000. No doubt Chairman Nick Buchanan will ‘hit out at his critics’ and say there is nothing to worry about in tomorrows HDM.

NEWS – Ban for Whitney

Jon Whitney has been handed a three match ban following his sending off in a reserve game. The defender was dismissed for a two footed lunge in the reserves Avon League Division Two game against Doncaster Rovers at Boothferry Park. The suspension comes into effect this Saturday, meaning Whitney is ineligible for the games against Shrewsbury, Barnet and Cardiff.