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Hull City fans agains name change as Premier League also express concern

 

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As former Hull City legend Dean Windass told radio 5 live on Friday, it wasn't so much the name change that has upset some fans - the newly promoted Premier League side will be now known as Hull City Tigers with the AFC - used since 1904 being dropped - but the fact that it has been dropped on them as a bomb shell without discussion.

Nationally, the Daily Mail has reported that The Barclays Premier League are refusing to endorse Hull City’s controversial name change which locally in Hull has caused outrage among the club’s supporters.

Club owner, 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  Sportsmail:  '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.'

The reaction in Hull has been far from favourable and Peter Johnson, 54, from Tigerlink, reported in the Hull Daily Mail, said he was disappointed with how the club had handled the change of name.

“There really should have been more communication with the fans before this was announced,” said Mr Johnson, a fan of 47 years.

“For a while now the club has denied a change of name.

“A lot of people are very upset with the decision and I think the club should have shown a bit more sensitivity.

“The progress the Allams have made with the club in fantastic – they saved us from possible liquidation.

“But when it comes to fundamental changes supporters need to be involved.”

Amber Nectar's Andy Dalton, 31, said: “When someone told me about the name change I really hoped they were pulling my leg.

“In my opinion it is an act of immense folly.

“I have had supporters from other clubs getting in touch laughing at us. I have no defence.

“Is it really going to bring us more fans abroad?

“There has been a mixed reaction from fans I’ve spoken to, from sadness that this has been done to outrage. Fans aren’t going to take this lying down.”

Bernard Noble, of City’s Official Supporters Club, said he was disappointed but thought the change would make little difference to fans in the long-term.

"My personal opinion is I’m disappointed because I’m a bit of a traditionalist," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But this guy saved us from liquidation and administration and it’s his club.

"I will still say ‘I’m going to watch City’, ‘I’m going to watch the Tigers’, ‘I’m going to watch Hull’. I will still say that and so will many other people."

But Rick Skelton, who is known to many City fans through his Hull City Live Twitter feed, said today "would go down as one of the saddest days" in the club's 109-year history.

He wrote in his blog: "It may only be a name to Mr Allam but to us, it’s the name of something we love, we’ve cherished and will be cherished long after the current owners.

"The saddest part is that this has come at a time when fans should be excited for top flight football, not angry at a ridiculous rebrand. And the feeling towards the Allam family – who have done wonderful things for our Club and our City – should be one of fondness not fury."

At least, unlike cardiff City fans last year, Hull haven't been forced to swallow a change of colours! Indeed, by adopting The Tigers monicre, the gold and black colours look sure to remain.

JB

 

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