The Barclays Premier League are refusing to endorse Hull City’s controversial name change which has caused outrage among the club’s supporters.
A week before the season’s kick-off, and Hull’s return to the top flight, the Tigers’ chairman Assem Allam has announced he has ditched ‘City’ and the ‘Association Football Club’ from the official club title and re-registered it as ‘Hull City Tigers Ltd’.
Dr Allam, an Egypt-born businessman who has lived, studied and worked in Hull for more than 40 years, has dropped the City moniker after more than 100 years because he says it is
‘common, redundant and irrelevant’ and associated with other clubs in the country.
All references to AFC and City will be phased out and although it will remain on the club crest this season, it will be removed for the start of next year’s campaign and a new badge will be designed.
Although he claims his club will be known as Hull City Tigers for the forthcoming season,which starts with a visit to Chelsea, that is news to Premier League bosses who insist the name Hull City will remain in use.
A Premier League spokesman told newsmen ‘We have not been informed of a change in the name of the actual club, it is the company name that has changed. They will still be known as Hull City as far as the Premier League is concerned when results or fixtures are published. We understand the move is more to do with their international reputation.
‘If any club wanted to change the club name we would talk to them and see what processes of consultation [with supporters] they had gone through.’
Millionaire owner Dr Allam, who rescued the club from oblivion and funded their return to the top flight with promotion under Steve Bruce last season,has defended the controversial move, which has angered a large number of supporters who have
been asked to quell any protests at the KC Stadium today.
The club are hosting former defender Andy Dawson’s testimonial against Real Betis, Bruce’s last pre-season game before next weekend’s visit to Stamford Bridge.
Dr Allam, who took over the club three years ago with his son and vice chairman Ehab, said: `Hull City is irrelevant. My dislike for the word ‘City’ is because it is common. ‘City is also associated with Leicester, Bristol, Manchester and many other clubs. I don’t like being like everyone else. I want the club to be special. ‘It is about identity. City is a lousy identity.
‘In the commercial world, the shorter the name, the better. The more it can spread quickly. I have always used short names in business. It gives you power in the science marketing. The shorter, the more powerful the message.
In Tigers we have a really strong brand. ‘The identity of the club is the Tigers, the stripes, and the colour scheme of black and amber, which remains. We just feel that, now being on the international stage, we need to strengthen the brand identity.
We have dropped something that is redundant, that is of no value, and is of no use.