FEAT-BRUCE

NEWS: Chester and Brady departures confirmed

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They’ve been in the offing for a few days, and today the sad confirmation has arrived that City have lost the services of both James Chester and Robbie Brady.

Sizeable fees have been obtained – some £7m from Norwich for Brady and £8m for Chester from West Brom, taking the Tigers’ summer sales over the £20m mark. However, the loss of Brady’s maturing talent and James Chester’s peerless composure in the defence is immense.

Chester joined City in 2011 from Manchester United for what now seems a preposterously modest £300,000 following a successful loan spell at Carlisle. Despite a much discussed lack of height, his superb reading of the game, unflappable nature and under-rated skill made him a fixture for Nigel Pearson, Nick Barmby and eventually Steve Bruce. Meanwhile, his Welsh mother enabled him to represent them at international level, and to date he’s turned out six times for his adopted country. He’ll always be remembered as an FA Cup Final goalscorer, as one of the finest players in the history of Hull City AFC and an all-round superb pro.

Another Man Utd youth product, Brady also made his City debut in 2011 on loan from Old Trafford. He was to have two loan spells at The Circle, during which he didn’t always convince. Remarkable as it may seem now, he was often seen as a lesser Cameron Stewart – abundently gifted but prone to poor decision making with a suspect workrate and a propensity towards greed. Nonetheless, City signed him permanently in 2013 and a refreshed attitude led to him finally harnessing those unquestioned abilities coupled with much greater maturity. International honours followed for the Republic of Ireland, with 13 caps and 3 goals to his name.

Both players represented the club well during their time here, and it’s hard to begrudge them the opportunity to remain in the Premier League following City’s relegation. We’ll miss them both, but it’s impossible not to wish them well.

FEAT-MOON

NEWS: City sign Clucas and Taylor

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City have this evening confirmed their first signings of the summer, Sam Clucas and Ryan Taylor.

Clucas has arrived for a fee believed to be around £1.3m from League One side Chesterfield, where he impressed last season on the Spireites’ left. Aged 24, he’s already had a storied career, having come through Leicester’s youth set-up only to be released aged 16. He’s since been at Lincoln, Jerez Industrial CF of Spain (as part of Glenn Hoddle’s Academy), Hereford and then Mansfield before arriving at their local rivals last summer. He’s been given a three year contract by City.

His signing is presumably undertaken with an eye on the Robbie Brady situation, which seems virtually certain to culminate in the Irish international joining Norwich for something like £7m.

Meanwhile, Taylor arrives in Hull on a free transfer aiming to rebuild a career cruelly blighted by injury in recent times. A former England U21, his last club was Newcastle, whom he joined in 2009 from Wigan. At the age of 30, he ought to be moving into his prime, though a succession of serious knee injuries has repeatedly kept him on the sidelines in the past two seasons.

He’s arrived on a one year deal, and providing City have taken sensible precautions over the terms of his contract, it seems a reasonable punt on a player who’s spent plenty of time playing in the Premier League.

FEAT-CTWD

Hull City AFC forever

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The FA has this afternoon rejected Assem Allam’s second attempt to change the name Hull City AFC.

The matter is now settled beyond all reasonable doubt, and the name of our beloved club is safe for future generations.

Hull City AFC 1904-forever.

FEAT-SEATS

NEWS: Quinn joins Reading on free transfer

QuinnSIrish midfielder Stephen Quinn has joined Championship side Reading on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract with City.

The 29 year old has signed a three year deal and, like Brighton-bound Liam Rosenior, will face City next season instead of featuring for them. Read more

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NEWS: City draw Accrington in League Cup

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City have been drawn away against Accrington Stanley in the First Round of the 2015/16 League Cup.

It’s a fantastically interesting fixture with lots to love. City haven’t played Accrington since a 1-0 win in East Lancashire back in 1959, a Division Three fixture that was our 25th and (until now) final fixture against them; there must be very few veterans of that away trip still remaining. Those 25 fixtures saw City win 18 of them, and we’ll start as strong favourites for a 19th.

As fans, it’s an unquestioned tick ground. Accrington played their football at Peel Park on our last visit, and the 5,000 capacity Crown Ground has only existed since 1968. It will also provide that increasing rare treat of a proper standing terrace, with over a thousand places provided in the roofless Coppice End.

As an ex-Premier League side against a team everyone can’t help but feel warmly about, it’s a strong candidate for being televised. The match will be played on the week commencing August 10th. We can’t wait.

FEAT-SEATS

NEWS: McShane heads list of summer departures

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Paul McShane is to be released by Hull City this summer, along with five other first team players, as Steve Bruce begins reshaping his squad for life in the Championship.

Whether it will start any kind of riot remains to be seen, but the decision to free McShane will cause a lot of upset to many City fans, who have embraced the flame-haired Irishman as a genuine cult hero in the last three years and who was clearly still a confident and high calibre performer to the end of his days at the KC.

City are also freeing Liam Rosenior, Joe Dudgeon, Maynor Figueroa, Yannick Sagbo and Steve Harper, but Alex Bruce has signed a new deal and Stephen Quinn is considering fresh terms. Read more

FEAT-SEATS

NEWS: Livermore suspended over failed drugs test

LivermoreJScarcely the sort of news City needed ever, let alone now, but midfielder Jake Livermore has been immediately suspended by the club and the FA after a random drugs test found traces of cocaine.

The midfielder, a regular over the last two seasons at the Circle, was subject to a test after City’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace last month. He subsequently played in the win over Liverpool and the defeats against Arsenal and Burnley prior to the results being made public yesterday.

Cocaine is not a performance-enhancing drug but comes under the ‘social’ drugs category under the FA’s rules on unlawful substances, and Livermore now faces up to a two-year ban. It is hard to believe, irrespective of how City finish the season, that he will play for the club again.

Livermore, who is 25, joined City on loan in the summer of 2013 after promotion from the Championship and had a fine season; this year he has been less effective and was coming under considerable criticism for his most recent displays. He previously played for Spurs, for whom he was an apprentice, and has one England cap.