STEVE BRUCE believes Hull City chairman Assem Allam will get his way and be given the green light to change the Premier League club’s name.
The 75-year-old revealed this week that he planned to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the Football Association’s decision last April to block his attempts to rebrand as Hull Tigers.
If, however, the FA’s initial decision is merely upheld by the Swiss-based independent body, Allam also vowed to quit the KC Stadium and “give it (the club) away” for nothing.
Such a stance inevitably led to fears that the stability that has helped transform Hull since the Egyptian-born businessman took charge late in 2010 could be shattered.
However, Bruce believes Allam, with whom he has struck up a close working relationship, will remain at the helm beyond a decision being made on the club’s proposed name change.
The Tigers’ chief said: “I think there will be a positive outcome. I genuinely believe that.
“That means he will stay and he will win his case. I genuinely believe that will be the case.
“That is my thoughts (on the subject). We have seen change before. One club went from London to Milton Keynes. Arsenal left Highbury. I never thought that would have happened, back in the day.
“Or Manchester City leave Maine Road. The fans even sang, ‘Maine Road till we die’. But they moved into a new stadium and everyone forgot about it.
“We are all a little bit wary in this country of change because we are all huge traditionalists. So am I.
“I can’t hide away from that fact. But, for what he has done for the club in overseeing what has been a remarkable rise, let’s give him the respect he deserves.”
Hull are not in action this weekend, Sky TV selecting the West Ham United home game for live transmission on Monday night having seen to that.
With the game being beamed into the nation’s pubs and homes by the satellite channel, supporters opposed to the proposed name change are expected to make their voices heard during the match.
For Bruce’s part, he can understand why a section of the club’s faithful are against the move.
But the Hull manager is also at pains to stress that his chairman’s commitment to maintaining the club’s meteoric rise underpins all of Allam’s thinking.
“The chairman has made his thoughts clear on the name change but, for me, he showed his true colours when making the money we paid for (Robert) Snodgrass available again on transfer deadline day,” said Bruce, who brought four internationals in on September 1.
“We spoke at length (before Thursday’s press conference by Allam) and there is no grey area with him. It is black and white.
“He is highly principled and adamant that the way forward is to have a brand name abroad.
“He can recite all sorts of reasons and, when you listen to his argument, you have to respect it. You also have to respect the rights of others, who are wary against change.
“But I know for a fact he doesn’t really want to sell it (the club) and why would he after what he has achieved?
“He is so principled on it that, if he was pushed, then he would (sell) and that is the sad situation we find ourselves in. I had an hour with him and that is the way he feels.
“He genuinely means what he says, that there is no grey area. He wouldn’t have come out as strongly as he did if there was.
“But, as far as I am concerned, he has no real intention to sell. He doesn’t want to sell but will do if forced into a corner.”
Allam was the man who brought Bruce to the KC Stadium in the summer of 2012 and then bankrolled the recruitment that has brought about such an incredible transformation in the club’s fortunes.
During the intervening two or so years, the pair have struck up a strong bond and Bruce is desperate for his chairman to stay in charge.
The Tigers’ chief added: “If he leaves and a new man comes in, then what will he want? They will want their own man.
“Of course, I don’t want him to leave and I don’t think the vast majority of the supporters do either.
“Like any good football club, the relationship the manager has with his owner has to be strong. If it’s not, then you can’t work.
“I have got on well with them over the last couple of years because he has let me get on and manage.
“I am fortunate enough to know that I never have any interference at all. Not in buying of players, team selection, never questioned why I played 4-3-3 or three at the back. Never – and that is like a breath of fresh air.”
Bruce, meanwhile, has ruled out a possible return for Harry Maguire to Sheffield United on loan. He said: “Harry is going nowhere and I don’t know where the stories come from that he might.”