April 2013: Assem Allam changes the company name at Companies House to ‘Hull City Tigers Ltd.’ and starts using the company name on signs around the stadium and training ground.
August 2013: Allam announces the club will henceforth be marketed as ‘Hull City Tigers’ locally and ‘Hull Tigers’ nationally and internationally. “Hull City is irrelevant. My dislike for the word ‘City’ is because it is common… City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long… In the commercial world, the shorter the name, the better. The more it can spread quickly”
September 2013: Fans group “City Till We Die” (CTWD) is formed to oppose the name change and quickly grows to over 1,500 members.
September 2013: Allam tells the Guardian “By next year I will change the name to Hull Tigers. If I were the owner of Manchester City I would change the name to Manchester Hunter – you need power. In time I would suggest names for all the clubs called City, but I do not have the time.”
November 2013: Some fans display a banner “We Are Hull City” at the Crystal Palace home match, Allam responds”How can they call themselves fans, these hooligans, this militant minority, when they disturb and distract the players while taking away the rights of others to watch the football, and of companies who have paid good money for their advertising?”
“I don’t mind (signing of) ‘City till we die’. They can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football.”
“These people, they want influence and authority without responsibility… I will never have other people taking decisions while I take responsibility.”
November 2013: In an interview with BBC Radio Humberside Allam claims (wrongly) that Tigers has always been part of the name “The name as registered with the FA and the Companies House always has been Hull City AFC Tigers Ltd. So I’m not adding Tigers, it is there. I’m not adding City, I’m not adding Hull, I’m removing AFC, that’s all…”
“It’s Hull City Tigers now, and has been all the time. To shorten, to remove one word… Do I remove Hull? Or remove City? Or remove Tigers?”
Hull City owner Assem Allam on the “Tigers” name.
December 2013: The club submits an application to the FA to rename as ‘Hull Tigers’ for 2014/15 season.
January 2014: “I’m here to save the club and manage the club for the benefit of the community. It will never, never be the other way round – that the community manage it for me. But if the community say go away, I promise to go away within 24 hours.” Allam added that the same would apply should his move to have the club’s name changed be rejected by the FA. He said: “Still the same thing. It’s a free country. No two ways about it. Have I ever said something and went back on it? No.”
January 2014: “No-one on earth is allowed to question my business decisions – I won’t allow it,” Allam told Sky Sports News. “And I’ll give you my CV to give you comfort and show you what I have achieved.”
January 2014: Hull City Official Supporters Club hold ballot of members, results are 40.5% in favour of changing the name to Hull Tigers and 59.5% against http://www.hullcityosc.com/events/members-name-change-poll-results/
February 2014 – Premier League Chief Richard Scudamore “We have made our feelings known to Hull. At some point, when there’s that many people think it is a bad idea, you really have to start to listen.”
March 2014 – Ehab Allam (Vice Chairman) writes an open letter to the fans “We have nothing left to give, and this is the reason why the club has to become financially self-sustainable. For the club to become sustainable we need further investment in the form of increased sponsorships and partnerships, and by utilising the global pull of the Premier League…”
“We need something that makes us stand out from the pool of teams we find ourselves in when it comes to attracting potential international sponsors. There are currently around a dozen or so teams in our division who will be competing for the same level of sponsorship, and we feel the Hull Tigers brand would give us an edge in any negotiations…”
“We hope the fans understand that we cannot own or run a club where we cannot make the right decisions. If we were denied the chance to operate the business in a way we feel fit, and that we firmly believe is in the long-term interests of the club and the fans, then we would have no alternative but to offer the club for sale.”
http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/images/localworld/ugc-images/276270/binaries/EhabAllamLetter.pdf (PDF download)
March 2014: The FA Membership Committee makes a recommendation to the full FA Council to reject the name change.
April 2014: The club holds a poll of it’s 15,033 season card holders, of 5,874 who responded, 2,565 voted “Yes to Hull Tigers with the Allam family continuing to lead the club” while 2,517 voted “No to Hull Tigers”. The other 792 voted they were “not too concerned and will continue to support the club either way” – No overall majority either way.
April 2014: The FA Council formally reject the club’s application for a name change.
April 2014: Allam promises to fight on: “If it had been the other way round – if the FA had approved it but the fans had said no – I would have severed my ties with the club immediately. But the results mean I owe it to the silent majority to appeal and to fight on.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26960502
May 2014: Speaking to The Guardian before the FA Cup Final, Allam remains defiant “I am 74, I haven’t got too much time left. You need to promote yourself worldwide, very quickly. You must think about the future, and the first thing that comes to your mind is the brand name. The shorter it is, the more powerful it becomes: Apple, Google, Twitter. You will never make it if your name is Hull City AFC.”
“Do you drop Hull, or City, or Tigers? You drop City. It means nothing.”
September 2014: Allam claims the club is up for sale “As a consequence of the FA’s decision on April 9 I announced within 24 hours, actually within 22 hours, that Hull City is for sale. When I say something, I mean it. I don’t call bluffs ” The club begins an appeal against the FA decision.
October 2014: Allam speaking to the BBC “The majority is often the silent one and that was proved when we did a ballot. I didn’t buy the club for the minority, I bought the club for the majority. We owe it to them to pursue this.”
March 2015: An Arbitration Tribunal rules that the FA Council’s original decision cannot stand and is set aside due to the “biased” involvement of Football Supporters’ Federation chairman Malcolm Clarke on the membership committee that recommended the name change be rejected. http://www.thefa.com/news/governance/2015/mar/fa-statement-hull-city-proposed-name-change
In a question as to why the Club had not prepared a survey of season ticket holders, Ehab Allam replied that it was not part of the club’s test and that he “wanted it to be a decision without fans views because it is in the interests of the Club“.
The FA contended that the club agreed to provide a business case, but did not do so. The club was also made aware of the importance attached to it’s supporters views and took the position that “they were irrelevant, or barely relevant.”
March 2015: Allam reiterates his threat to sell “The club is up for sale as I’ve said before. There is no change… 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.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3000670/Hull-City-owner-plans-sell-club-new-bid-change-Hull-Tigers-fails.html
April 2015: Allam writes to the FA to confirm the club’s intention to re-apply to change the name for the 2015/16 season.
April 2015: The newly formed Hull City Supporters Trust (merger between the ‘City Till We Die’ group and the existing ‘Tiger’s Co-operative’ Trust) polls it’s 1,086 shareholders and junior members, 764 vote to retain the name Hull City, 6 vote for changing the name to Hull Tigers.
May 2015: Hull City Official Supporters Club hold another ballot on the name change, this time 704 Members voted, the results were: No to Hull Tigers 459, Yes to Hull Tigers 240, Spoilt Votes 5.
June 2015: After the club is relegated to the Championship, Ehab Allam states that nothing has changed: “We are still progressing the application and we are still progressing the re-branding. I don’t see it as a change of name, it is use of an existing name. We are still pursuing it because we think it is right.”
July 2015: The FA Council reject the name change again. This time 69.9% vote no to “Hull Tigers” (51 votes in total). The 22 members who voted yes are said to include the FA Chairman Greg Dyke, Vice Chairman David Gill and Chief Executive Martin Glenn.
August 2015: Allam brands the FA “Amateurs” in an interview in The Sun: “People involved with the Premier League understood what I was trying to do, because they are global. It is a sad day that most of the people who make the decisions are amateurs and do not have this understanding. They are local, not global.”
“To go global, we need to market ourselves. The shorter the name, the better… Google, Apple, Twitter… You don’t go out to the world and say we are ‘Hull City Tigers Association Football Club’, If you do that, expect to fail, my friend.”
(Last updated: 22/08/2015)
Allam has been trying to force the name change through the FA without a mandate from the supporters. The issue is rooted in his fall out with the Council over the KC Stadium.
There was no compelling business case presented to the FA and the issue has only succeeded in creating a divided fan base.
His insistence that ‘Hull Tigers’ (10 letters) is a shorter team name than ‘Hull City’ (8 letters) is laughable.