Arbitration panel opens door for Hull City change to Tigers

Tigers manager Steve Bruce.
Tigers manager Steve Bruce.
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Hull City will be able to make another bid to change their name to Hull Tigers after an arbitration panel set aside the Football Association’s decision to reject the name change.

The club’s owner Assem Allam wants to re-brand the club but the name change was rejected by the FA Council last year.

Now an arbitration tribunal has ruled the name should remain Hull City for the time being but that the Council’s decision be set aside due to the “biased” involvement of Football Supporters’ Federation chairman Malcolm Clarke on the membership committee which recommended the name change be rejected.

The findings of the arbitration tribunal stated: “We have concluded that the decision of the council cannot stand. We set it aside.

“At this stage of the season it would be impractical and wholly inappropriate to direct the association to make a fresh decision to take effect during the current season.

“The club is free to make a new application.”

The tribunal’s issue over Clarke was that he based his decision only on what members of the City Till We Die supporters group wanted - the club’s now 111-year-old name to remain unchanged.

The findings state: “Rather than take account of all the matters that were relevant to the decision, he decided in advance to base his decision on one, namely the support of the club’s supporters.

“Bias is another description: his view was that the decision should be made in accordance with the views of the supporters instead of on a consideration of all the applicable and relevant factors.

“His speech and internet posting indicated that he had already decided to reject the club’s application.”

Allam said last year he would “give away” the club if he lost arbitration and could not find a buyer.