Hull City owner and chairman Assem Allam says the name is currently “Hull City Tigers”, the business name registered at Companies House in spring, and has said he would prefer the shorter “Hull Tigers” to boost the club’s global marketing appeal.
But supporters, led by the group City Till We Die, insist the club’s name is Hull City AFC, which has stood since its inception in 1904, and are campaigning to save it.
They have launched a membership scheme in part to counter claims by Dr Allam that the number of fans opposed to the name change may only be about 200.
The group said in a statement: “While we believe that number to be false, we accept the challenge and have launched a membership scheme that will give the No To Hull Tigers campaign added legitimacy and demonstrable numeric support.”
They plan to merge with Tigers Co-op to form a supporters’ trust in the new year.
The group also announced plans to play an active role in Hull’s forthcoming status as UK City of Culture, which was announced last week.
The statement said: “Once a committee is elected we will also be throwing our weight behind the recent awarding to Hull of 2017 City of Culture status.
“Hull City AFC is a massive part of our great city’s culture, along with Hull’s other famous sporting teams, and we want to do everything we can to celebrate that.”
City Till We Die yesterday distanced itself from a banner paraded in the East Stand of the KC Stadium during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
The banner, which read “We Are Hull City”, ended up being the rope in a tug-of-war between fans and stewards before the stewards gave way.
But the group added: “We think it is a sad state of affairs when a banner with a message as harmless as ‘We Are Hull City’ is deemed unacceptable in our own ground.”