- Vice Chairman, Hull City AFC
- Managing Director, Hull City AFC
- Chairman, Hull City AFC
Dr. Assem Allam
In an interview with The Guardian on 12 September 2013 you said that you would be changing the name of Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers. This follows remarks made in a Hull Daily Mail interview on 9 August by yourself and Ehab Allam: “Hull City” is irrelevant, the word “City” is common and “AFC” is redundant. “It is about identity”, you said. “City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long.”
You have stated that the purpose of this renaming is for commercial reasons, to strengthen the brand globally.
You will be aware by now of the reaction these announcements have garnered. The overwhelming reaction of the media and the footballing world in general has been that the idea of changing Hull City’s name to Hull City Tigers or Hull Tigers is risible. The majority of Hull City fans are dismayed and outraged by the plan. Many long-standing supporters, the lifeblood of the club, who follow City home and away whichever division we are playing in, have said that they could not bring themselves to follow a renamed club. You were right when you talked about identity being important – for fans of the club the name Hull City AFC is wrapped together with over a century of history, tradition and pride, having been the one constant since the club’s inception. Hull City AFC is the thread that connects Boothferry Park, the KC Stadium and Wembley. It links Raich Carter, Chris Chilton and Ken Wagstaff to Ian Ashbee, Dean Windass and the team of today. It represents our community.
Aside from alienating your core customer base - and losing income from those who the name change would drive away - there is no evidence that a name change would bring commercial benefits. Those football clubs that have made serous inroads into foreign markets have done so on the back of sustained success, both domestically and in Europe. And indeed, key attractors to fans abroad are the traditions of the oldest football league in the world and its resistance to the Americanisation of sports in terms of franchising and branding.
All Hull City fans owe you a huge debt of gratitude for the loans which saved the club from liquidation. We ask you to listen to what Hull City fans, and others, are saying and reverse these plans to change the club’s name. It would be an awful legacy for the Assam family, having once been hailed as being the saviour of Hull City AFC, to be decried as its destroyer.
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