Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Allam hits out in name row

Assem Allam wants to change Hull City's name to 'Hull Tigers'

Hull owner Assem Allam has angrily dismissed the efforts of supporters to dissuade him from changing the club's name.

Allam changed the company name to Hull City Tigers ahead of this season, Hull's first back in the Barclays Premier League, and now plans to drop the word City in the belief that Hull Tigers would prove a more marketable brand worldwide.

Fans' group City Til We Die hopes the FA will block any proposal for change but Allam is determined not to be sidetracked from his plans.

"I honestly don't know why the fuss, why a small group are making all this fuss," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's up to me. Nobody in the world will decide for me how I run my companies, certainly not a few hundred people.

"No, no, no. I will not allow that. Let us establish this - nobody questions my decisions in my business.

"What the fans should be interested in - I will never change the colour, I will never change the logo, I will never remove Hull, I will never remove Tigers.

"These words were there for many years. The colour of the club, amber and black, is there. The logo is there. That's for the fans and I will never change this without consulting the fans.

"As for the commercial decisions - my decision.

"If it is proved, between now and early next year, that shortening - further shortening - the name by removing 'City' to have 'Hull Tigers' (is beneficial), I will do it."

Pressed as to how he would prove that, he responded: "By me saying that, and only me.

"Nobody has the right to ask me how I reach my decision.

"If it's proved essential to further shorten the name, then you have Hull, you have City, you have Tigers. How can I shorten these three words to two?

"I shouldn't touch Hull, I shouldn't touch Tigers. 'City' does not mean a thing to me regarding my objectives of taking the club forward."

Allam earlier told the Guardian that the club made losses of £28million last season.

And he insisted in the later radio interview that the name change is essential if the club is to become self-sufficient.

"The club cannot rely on my money all the time," he said. "The club should be able to survive comfortably with me being alive or dead.

"At the moment, the club cannot survive without my money. That is not on."

FA rules say any change to the 'playing name' - in this case Hull City - must be approved by the council and an application will have to be lodged before April 1 ahead of a proposed change for the following season.

The rule states: "A club competing in any one of the Premier League, Football League, Football Conference, Southern Football League, Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League shall not be permitted to change its playing name... save with the prior written permission of council.

"Any application for a change of playing name must be received before 1st April in any calendar year in order for it to be considered by council for adoption in the following playing season.

"Council will use its absolute discretion in deciding whether to approve a change in a club's playing name."

A statement from City Til We Die read: "Our group has already had extensive contact with key figures at the FA, and we anticipate they will take a dim view both of this announcement and of Dr Allam's rubbishing of our club's proud history at the meeting we had with him last week."

Spokesman Chris Cooper added on 5 Live: "People are very grateful for the saving of the club and being where we are but we don't agree with the name change.

"We entered the Premier League as Hull City, we are Hull City Association Football Club and we want to remain that way."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre