Written by Mark Bradley
In April 2014 Assem Allam, the elder of the two Allam family members, applied for the club’s name to be changed from Hull City A.F.C. to Hull City Tigers. The Football Association Council decided to reject the application and ever since then the club has been open to offers. Recently, two consortium’s have been interested in the newly promoted Premier League side. One consortium led by Peter Grieve and another led by Hawken Xiu Li and her brother Dai Yongge. Grieve’s proposed deal for the club fell through however the Chinese consortium seem to have reached an agreement with the Allam family as they were in the directors box, with Ehab Allam, for the clubs win against Champions Leicester City.
Ehab Allam announced a new alternative to season passes in March. His idea was for the fans, though they’re treated like customers, to pay monthly instead of all at once. The membership scheme was announced as “Earn Your Stripes”, though a large percentage of fans said that they had already earned their stripes and didn’t need a membership scheme to confirm that. Protests emerged in May, as fans held red cards up when the teams came out of the tunnel at the start of each game. They continued with the red cards on the opening day of the 2016/17 season. This time, though, the red cards read ‘NO’ on them. The “NO” could’ve meant a handful of things, such as “No To Hull Tigers”, “No To The Membership Scheme”, “No To The Allams”.
A small percentage of fans still defended the Allams, but it wasn’t until July, when Steve Bruce resigned as the club’s manager due to a lack of support from the owners, that things started to get heated. Out of the whole Hull City fanbase, there is probably less than 5% of people who still back the chairman and want him in charge. The rest want Allam out of their football club, and are hoping that something evolves with the Chinese consortium.
The Hull supporters will be hoping for some stability with the club, which will be difficult enough without the problems off the field. They’ve had to deal with just 13 fit players at the start of the season, with Allan McGregor, Alex Bruce and Moses Odubajo having serious injuries and are out for a minimum of six months. Club captain Michael Dawson is another also on the sidelines, though thankfully for Hull he is only out for three months. Mike Phelan, the assistant manager to Bruce whilst he was in charge, has stood in as caretaker manager until a permanent appointment has been made. Hull have had to put part of their Under 21 squad on the substitutions bench for Premier League games as replacements for the injuries.
With no full squad, no permanent manager, no funds available, no new signings, you can’t blame the fans for protesting and Bruce walking away from the club. Phelan has a huge task on his hands to gel the squad together and try to survive in the Premier League. The only thing that’s currently going for Hull now is the squad morale, where everybody seems to be getting on great with no hiccups.
Hull fans, where do you stand with the owner situation? Let us know in the comments below!