DENIALS that had been bullish even as relegation was confirmed in the spring of 2010 were conspicuous by their absence by the time the Allam family finally took over Hull City in the December.
Administration – and the accompanying 10-point penalty – was the only alternative to the Allams getting involved and it was with a huge sigh of relief that confirmation came that previous owner Russell Bartlett had been bought out.
Then came the eye-watering details of the deal, with Assem and Ehab Allam having to pump in more than £40m to rescue the Tigers from extinction.
Adam Pearson, at the time City’s head of football operations, described the takeover as “one that makes no business sense”. Instead, the new owners, Pearson said, saw saving the club as “a gift to the city of Hull”.
In the intervening three-and-a-half years, it is, even allowing for this season’s controversial planned re-brand as Hull Tigers, a gift that has kept on giving.
Tens of millions have been poured into a club that has soared from the fringes of the Championship relegation zone to the Premier League and, now, an FA Cup final at Wembley.
The £2.5m capture of Matty Fryatt and Aaron Mclean started the ball rolling, as Nigel Pearson, pictured, was finally given a genuine opportunity to re-build. Astute signings were made, particularly in the regular raids on Manchester United reserves that saw the likes of James Chester and Robbie Brady tempted across the Pennines.
Even the departure of Pearson, lured back to Leicester City, couldn’t de-rail the Allams as, after seven months with Nick Barmby at the helm, the City owners turned to Steve Bruce.
A substantial transfer kitty and a competitive wage bill has since seen two years of unprecedented success and left the Tigers truly roaring.