Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Allam was misinterpreted - Bruce

Steve Bruce says 'we should be enjoying the Premier League rather than talking about a badge or a name change'

Hull manager Steve Bruce believes club owner Assem Allam was misinterpreted when he said fans opposed to his plan to rename the club Hull Tigers can "die as soon as they want".

Allam has been the target of strong criticism from supporters ever since he announced his intention to ditch the 109-year-old title of Hull City AFC in favour of his preferred Hull Tigers.

He has been dismissive of those who oppose the move and, in an interview with a Sunday newspaper, told his detractors they could "die as soon as they want" - a reference to the 'City Till We Die' movement.

Speaking to BBC Radio Five on Monday evening, Bruce sought to take the heat out of the situation.

"I think what he was saying was he needs the situation to die, not the supporters to go away and die," he told BBC Radio Five. "I think there's a misinterpretation."

He continued: "The owner's been (in Hull) 45 years, and I'm not making excuses here, but if you speak to him he still hasn't quite grasped the English language."

Bruce said after Sunday's 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool that he intended to speak to Allam about his proposal to rebrand the club after claiming the Egyptian "does not understand" the tradition that goes with the name of the team.

The home faithful displayed banners and protested against the proposed rebranding during Sunday's triumph, which lifted the Tigers to 10th in the Premier League, and Bruce is hopeful Allam will take their feelings on board.

"I think the chairman has put something like £70million into this club, so without him there wouldn't be a club or a 'Hull City' - it would be down the tubes," said the 52-year-old, who took over as Hull manager in June 2012.

"We have to respect his wishes, but on the other hand he has to understand too that a lot of people feel very, very strongly about this.

"The last thing we need in our first year back in the Premier League is any distractions, because it's hard enough. At times, when things aren't going so well, it can create an atmosphere that no-one wants.

"We should be enjoying the Premier League rather than talking about a badge or a name change."

He added: "I've got to have a conversation with him. I don't think he understands quite what it means to the history and the tradition.

"But if he wants us to play in pink fairy dresses then he is entitled to that view."

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