Hull City owners ‘alienating’ fans with plan to change club’s name

HULL CITY supporters have accused the club’s owners of “alienating” fans by planning to change the name to Hull City Tigers or Hull Tigers.

Assem Allam.

The club’s return to the Premier League has been overshadowed by the row following comments from owner Assem Allam earlier this month in which he called the name Hull City “irrelevant” and said he disliked the name City because it was “common”.

The Egyptian-born businessman also said he would personally prefer the club to be known simply as Hull Tigers.

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The club, nicknamed The Tigers because of the black and amber stripes on its shirts, has been Hull City AFC since its inception in 1904, but the Association Football Club element was removed from the business name at Companies House in the spring – leaving Hull City Tigers Ltd – and Dr Allam believes the change will make the club more marketable on the global stage.

Fans are divided on the rebranding exercise, however, and discontent was evident during the first match of the season at Chelsea on Sunday – a 2-0 defeat – with banners saying “Your Company, Our Club, Hull City AFC” and “Forever Hull City AFC” on display in the away end.

An obscene chant about what the Allams could do with the name change was also heard.

Seven online supporters’ groups and fanzines – including Amber Nectar, City Independent, Ulltras, and Tiger Chat – have also put out a joint statement calling on Dr Allam and his son Ehab to reconsider.

It said: “We are Hull City AFC, there is nothing wrong with that name and it should stay put.

“We call on Dr Assem and Ehab to call a halt to any further rebranding of the football club without full and proper consultation with supporters.

“We call on Dr Assem and Ehab to stop alienating a large swathe of City supporters. And we call on Dr Assem and Ehab to let us all get on with enjoying another fabulous Premier League odyssey.”

The club said it had only received 20 emails complaining about the name and was due to respond to those yesterday.

A spokesman also said the name used in league tables, fixtures, and results would be Hull City.