I plan to write a series of blog’s this week on what the future holds for Hull City after promotion was sealed in glorious style at Wembley yesterday.
|Empty seats for a play-off final - the ultimate vote of no confidence?|
I’ll start with the key issue – the ownership of the club. I’ve thought about writing on this topic several times over the last month as talk of a possible takeover grew but all I had to go on was supposition so I left it be. I’ve heard several rumours of who the investors are with the most believable versions being either a group of Americans said to have visited the City recently or a Singaporean consortium led by a local businessman.
Since yesterday’s play-off final win, The Mirror and the BBC’s David Burns have both gone with the American angle and it seems likely that talks have taken place and a deal has been agreed – presumably dependent on the promotion being sealed.
EXCLUSIVE...Talks to sell @HullCity to an American group at an advanced stage. I understand they want to keep Steve Bruce in place. #hcafc— David Burns (@bbcburnsy) May 29, 2016
The talk of a takeover will have pleased most Hull City fans who seem to agree that the time has come for a change of owner. However, over the last couple of weeks I’ve spoken to several vociferous City fans who’ve all told me their biggest fear is the Allams doing a U-Turn over selling if City do go up and the massive income next season becomes a reality. For those fans, Ehab Allam telling Sky today that his family would like to reflect on whether they still desire to sell the club will be a worry.
It’s a worry because there are many fans who have been upset by the Allams over many issues in the the last three years – including but not limited to the attempt to change the name, removal of disabled concessions, large price rises, removal of the ticket office and staff, the dreaded membership scheme and the ongoing spiteful refusal to call the club “Hull City” – who really want them to go and I am one of them. Their ownership of the club is untenable.
It gives me absolutely no pleasure to state that, especially as a time when Assem Allam is seriously ill. I’ll always be thankful that the Allams secured the future of Hull City in 2010 and I’ve always given credit for the things they’ve achieved on the football field and the support they’ve given Steve Bruce (though not forgotten the way Nick Barmby was treated) to achieve some of the greatest feats in our history but the massive debt of gratitude I once felt towards them has been eroded away by three years of acrimony, by the campaign waged against our fans and our name and by the utter contempt they show for every paying customer whether you are with them or against them. Introducing a membership scheme that penalises children and OAPs who sit in most areas of the ground was the final straw for me. That was the point I realised that these people truly do not care about anyone.
Simply put, they now must sell up and go. There’s no guarantee that the new owners will be as successful. We’ve seen examples at Fulham and Aston Villa of foreign owners getting things wrong and taking clubs out of the Premier League. But do I care? Not particularly. Success is wonderful it needs to be shared by all of our fanbase and to be beneficial to our City and the local community. Otherwise, what is the point?
I hope new owners arrive and bring an olive branch that will be reciprocated by all of those City fans who are currently marginalised. I expect new owners will have their own ideas and their own business plan but I hope most of all that it includes the restoration of “Hull City” to the forefront of our club’s communication, home and shirt and the scrapping or sorting of the membership scheme to include concessions for children, OAPs and the disabled. If they can do that and unite our proud fanbase – the one so sadly absent at Wembley yesterday – then success, I can take or leave. After all, not everyone can be successful, but as long as they give it their best shot, I’ll support then and I’ve a good feeling that many others will too.
We are Premier League and that is wonderful for the City of Hull. Now let’s have an ownership who proudly represent the City and are proud to be Hull City AFC.