Acun Ilicali pays for Hull City fans to travel for free to final nine matches of the Championship season

Hull City are to offer free coach travel to supporters for the final nine Championship away matches of the season.

Owner Acun Ilicali paid for free coach travel to the festive matches at Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, and will extend it for the final four months of the season, starting with the February 11 trip to Stoke City.

The only away game not covered is January's short trip to Sheffield United, but as well as Stoke fans can travel for free to Norwich City, Bristol City, Coventry City, Reading, Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough and Luton Town.

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The game at Wigan attracted Hull's biggest away following of the season, and the team responded with a 4-1 win.

CROWD PLEASER: Hull City owner Acun IlicaliCROWD PLEASER: Hull City owner Acun Ilicali
CROWD PLEASER: Hull City owner Acun Ilicali

Ilicali says the move "is in recognition of the difficult times fans have faced in recent months, both with the rising cost of living and the prolonged train strikes affecting supporters’ ability to attend matches."

He added: “The support from our fans has been fantastic, and we wanted to show them the same kind of support. We know it’s quite a tough time for people at the moment, and Christmas is always an expensive time, so if we can help them, it’s only right that we do it.

"When we say ‘One Family. One Dream.’ we really mean it. A lot of fans were getting in touch, telling us they are struggling to get to away matches because of the lack of trains.

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"I want to support our fans whenever I can and encourage as many people as possible to attend matches to support Liam (Rosenior, the coach) and the boys. The atmosphere in the away end at Birmingham and Wigan was amazing and motivated the team to get the wins in both matches.

"I had so many nice messages from fans who said how much they appreciated the support in getting to the matches, so I made the decision to extend it for the rest of the season.

"I want to support our fans now, because I know in the future when times are better, they will support the club off the field as well as on it.”

Ilicali's populist approach has been a refreshing change after the fanbase became disconnected from the club under the ownership of the Allam family.

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Other initiatives by the Turkish television mogul have included regular cut-price ticket offers and memberships for children, and a competition which saw 320 fans win free holidays to Turkey to watch the side at their training camp during the mid-season break.