English Premiership

Hull owner feels fans' fury

2013-12-02 19:30
Hull City (File)

Kingston upon Hull - Less than three years after Assem Allam rescued Hull from falling into financial ruin, the goodwill toward the Egyptian businessman has turned into open hostility.

Allam was feted as a savior after injecting about £40 million into the club when it was close to bankruptcy while playing in the second-tier League Championship in 2010.

The team then secured a surprise return to the Premier League last season.

But Allam's desire to change the 109-year-old club's official name from Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers to attract investors and boost its marketing appeal abroad has provoked fury among many fans as well as traditionalists in English football.

The backlash only intensified this weekend when Allam responded to supporters' chants and banners of "City Till We Die" by telling a Sunday newspaper: "They can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football."

It made for a hostile atmosphere at KC Stadium on Sunday as Hull beat Liverpool for the first time in 17 attempts.

It should have been a day to celebrate one of the best results in Hull's history, but instead all the talk was about the wrangle between the fans and the owner that could rumble on throughout the team's first season back in the top division.

"What we can't let it do is fester because it creates, at times, when things aren't going so well, an atmosphere that none of us want," Hull manager Steve Bruce said.

"If we are Hull City Tigers or we are Hull City, whatever we are, we have got to stay together going forward because we need all the help we can get. We are a newly promoted team. We have only been three years in the Premier League in our history so we are up against it."

Bruce said he would talk with Allam.

"The chairman has put something like £70 million in," Bruce said.

"Without him, there wouldn't be a club or a Hull City. It would be down the tubes, in my opinion.

"However, I have got to have a conversation with him because I don't think he quite understands what it means in terms of history and tradition.

"All he thinks about is going forward and he thinks the brand would be better.

"That is his opinion but there are thousands who don't agree."

Angry Hull fans sang "We're Hull City, We'll Die When We Want" during the Liverpool game as Allam watched on from the director's box with members of his family.

Bernard Noble, the spokesman for Hull City Official Supporters Club, said the vast majority of fans want to see Allam stay as chairman but back down from his plans to press ahead with the name change.

"If the comments he made are true, they are ill-judged and they shouldn't have been said," Noble said.

"There is a lot of anger about what he said.

"I just hope that we can draw a line under it . and concentrate on staying in the Premier League. We can revisit it at the end of the season.

"This is not the time for it."

Allam is not the first foreign-born owner of an English club to incur the wrath of supporters in attempts to increase the team's marketability.

Cardiff, for example, has controversially changed its club crest and plays in red instead of blue at the insistence of its Malaysian owner, Vincent Tan.

But Allam's opinion is unlikely to waver.

He recently said the word "City" in the name is "redundant" and "irrelevant," and that he would prove to be a trailblazer for clubs changing their names "to something more interesting."

"City, Town, County: these are meaningless," he told The Guardian newspaper in September.

"In marketing, the shorter the name the more powerful — think of Coca-Cola, Twitter, Apple. By next year, I will change the name to Hull Tigers."

Read more on:    hull city  |  english premiership  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.