Belfast Telegraph

Hull fans issue fresh Allam plea

The Hull City Supporters' Trust has once again called upon the club's owners to abandon plans to change the club name to Hull Tigers.

The FA Council rejected owner Assem Allam's attempt to rebrand last year but on Monday an arbitration tribunal ruled that that decision had been put aside.

That was due to the involvement of Football Supporters' Federation chairman Malcolm Clarke on the sub-committee which made the initial decision, with the tribunal believing Clarke based his decision only on what members of the City Till We Die supporters group, now part of HCST, wanted - the club's now 111-year-old name to remain unchanged.

That means that while the club will remain as Hull City AFC until the end of the current campaign, Allam can now re-apply to change the name again ahead of the new season.

But HCST has pleaded with the club's hierarchy to completely abandon their lengthy campaign, believing the tribunal's decision was based on a "very minor technicality".

"HCST urges the owners to abandon the name change application once and for all," read a statement.

"It is clear from the evidence set out in the arbitration document that a strong and compelling case for change does not exist.

"The FA has published a 30-page arbitration document that describes why the FA Council's decision to reject the club's proposed name change has been "set aside" on a very minor technicality, having rejected most of the arguments offered by the club.

"The Trust is disappointed with this finding - the FA Council made a sound decision made in the interests of football in general, not just those of Hull City supporters."

The statement continued: "The arbitration document also reveals that the club agreed to present a business case for the change and then failed to do so. We believe this is because there is not and has never been any evidence that "Hull Tigers" would generate a financial benefit.

"The report also stated that the heavily-weighted ballot of season ticket holders the club ran was ' poor', 'unimpressive' and the outcome was 'unconvincing'."

Allam, however, is regarding the decision of the panel as a major victory and does not believe he even has to submit a new application to change the name.

"The tribunal states, in this case the FA saying no to Tigers, that the decision should be set aside," he told the Hull Daily Mail on Wednesday. "That means nothing has happened.

"The application has not been answered. The tribunal says our appeal was successful. That decision to set it aside was unanimous."

The Egyptian businessman also reiterated that the club will remain for sale until he gets his name-change plans pushed through.

"The club is up for sale as I've said before," he added.

"There is no change. If I can change the club's name to Hull Tigers then I will stay and develop the club further and further. I have shown it would be a success.

"If it is not Hull Tigers then the club will be sold. What is the problem with that? I could have sold the club already, but I want it to go to a good home."

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