Hull City AFC supporters’ campaign group City Till We Die have persuaded owner Dr. Assem Allam not to change the club’s name until consultation with fans is complete. “I give my word – I will not change if no benefit,” says Allam.
He is keen to rebrand the club as Hull Tigers to international audiences, phasing out any reference to “AFC” which has been used since their formation in 1904. Confusingly, the club would be known as Hull City Tigers to domestic audiences.
The group met with the club’s owner on Friday 1st November and presented him with a petition containing 4,532 signatures from fans who want to stop any name change.
However, City Till We Die say that Allam still does not “exhibit understanding of… Hull City AFC’s history or the emotional investment supporters make”.
During the meeting Allam said he was working under financial constraints and blamed this on his “inability” to take ownership of the KC Stadium from Hull City Council. He said this was a key reason for him wanting to drop “City” from the club’s name.
City Till We Die said: “We remain committed to ensuring that consultation takes place and that the views of Hull City fans are represented fairly. We will press Dr. Allam to make good his commitments.
“We are concerned, however, that the use of Hull City Tigers continues to appear on club communications around and inside the stadium on matchdays. We are also unconvinced that the owner recognises the difference between the name of the club and the registered name of the company.
“City Till We Die agrees that increasing the club’s commercial income is important but this must be done without compromising the club’s heritage or discarding its historic 109-year-old name.”
The group said Allam was disappointed that additional revenue could not be extracted from the KC Stadium while it is under local government ownership.
City Till We Die say he also cited Coventry City as a club who could extract the maximum commercial potential from their stadium.
Given that the Sky Blues are currently playing their home games in Northampton, and their stadium is owned by the local council, this seems a rather odd example to choose.
In the meantime, the campaign continues and City Till We Die will distribute thousands of badges and hundreds of scarves at games.
The group will also unveil a 25-foot-wide City Till We Die flag at matches and encouraging supporters to sing “City Till I Die” at 19 minutes four seconds into games, to honour the club’s name which has remained the same since 1904.
The group is also planning a public meeting (details TBC).