With owner Assem Allam increasingly unpopular, Hull have been on the market since 2014 but only now are they finally set to change hands, assuming Illicali’s due diligence does not throw up any unexpected problems.
The Tigers have been loaned in the region of £39.5m by Egyptian owner Allam, who bought the club in 2011.
Recent reports in the Turkish media said a £30m price had been agreed, with a further £20m due if the club reach the Premier League, although the reports did not put a timeframe on this.
Allam bought the club in December 2010, and oversaw three seasons of Premier League football, the club’s first FA Cup final in which they took Arsenal into extra-time, and a maiden European campaign as a result.
However, his relationship with supporters has been strained since his 2014 and 2015 attempts to change their name to Hull Tigers, arguing that the name “City” was “lousy”. With hostility growing, he put the club on the market in 2014, but has been unable to find a buyer.
In January 2020 the decision to cash in on wingers Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki without suitably replacing them saw a potential Championship play-off push end in relegation, though they redeemed themselves by winning last season’s League One title.
Although the club’s very brief statement did not say who was carrying out due diligence, Illicali has been very open in his desire to buy the club, which he wants to use to showcase Turkish football.
A takeover would raise questions about the future of coach Grant McCann, who is also an unpopular presence. Hull are in the Championship relegation zone and play Barnsley, the team currently directly below them, at Oakwell on Saturday.