Assem Allam

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Hull City promoted, but Steve Bruce still considering future

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Steve Bruce saw Hull City go down to the Championship, and pulled the Tigers right back up the Premier League.

Hull won promotion at the first time of asking after defeating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on Saturday, but Bruce wants to see stability at the KC Stadium.

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The club remains up for sale after owner Assem Allam saw his request to change the team name to Hull Tigers denied by the English Football Association.

From the BBC:

“I’ll sit down with the owners. It’s not often you walk away from the Premier League – that’s where I want to manage,” Bruce told BBC Radio 5 live.

“But I have to be given certain assurances that we’re all moving in the right direction.

“I keep hearing too many stories that there’s a takeover imminent. We’ll see what develops,” added the 55-year-old.

The longtime Manchester United back has been around the managerial block a few times, and it’d be nice to see him stay at Hull for the long term. He’s led the Tigers into the Premier League on two occasions, and is — seriously — the seventh longest tenured manager in the Football League. He would enter the Premier League as the second-longest serving manager, to Arsene Wenger.

Hull City owner Assem Allam planning to boycott club’s matches

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Hull City’s controversial owner Assem Allam will not be attending any of his club’s matches this season.

After finishing 18th in the Premier League last season the Tigers were relegated to the Championship, where they got their new campaign off to a good start yesterday with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Not in attendance at the opening match of the season, however, was Egyptian billionaire Assem Allam, who bought the club in 2010.

Allam has come under fire from supporters as he continuously tries to change the club’s name from Hull City A.F.C. to Hull Tigers. In July, Allam had his second bid for a name change denied by the FA, prompting him to boycott the matches this season.

From the BBC’s Ben Smith:

Allam believes the name “Hull Tigers” would be more marketable internationally, bringing added revenue into the Yorkshire club.

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Supporters immediately lashed out at Allam’s idea, forming a protest movement named “City Till We Die,” referencing the inclusion of “City” in the club name. The club has gone by Hull City A.F.C. since 1904, and adopted the Tigers nickname due to their orange and black striped kits.

Allam has previously threatened to sell the club if the name change is not approved, and so far he’s 0-for-2 in his efforts. With his current reputation around the KC Stadium, a sale might be the best move for all parties involved.

‘Exhausted’ Bruce after Hull relegation: “My future is for others to decide”

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Hull City is headed for the Championship, and manager Steve Bruce is understandably taking it quite hard.

Despite injuries, flat-out bad luck and even a cocaine suspension to Jake Livermore, the veteran manager says he deserves the blame for an 18th place finish.

[ MATCH RECAP: Hull City 0-0 Manchester United ]

Hull spent on Abel Hernandez and others in a relatively splashy summer, but still sink into the second tier.

From the BBC:

“It is one of those awful experience. This is a particularly low time. We are not in the big league. Too many times I have come out and said we have not done bad but we have not scored. That is 17 or 18 times we have not scored.

“I have to take the brunt of it. We have not been good enough. We believed at the start of the season we would have enough.

“It is not a time for excuses. You have to take your medicine and come back as strongly as you can.

“I am exhausted at the minute. My future is for others to decide. Cuts are inevitable. A lot of talking and soul-searching has to be done in the next few weeks. We are all sad at the minute. I am sure there are a few conversations to be had, which will be had in due course.”

Bruce didn’t keep the Tigers up, and frankly it’s a bit surprising. Hull just didn’t finish enough of its chances, and its record transfer was a disappointment. He deserves the chance to bring them back up, but will Assem Allam allow it?

Hull still for sale, as owner won’t spend until name change granted

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In a wide-ranging interview in which he admits he’s “not a football fan”, Hull City Tigers owner Assem Allam says he won’t spend any more on the team until his desired club name change is granted.

Allam, 75, has broken Hull’s transfer record four times since pulling the club out of administration in 2010, but has been involved in a very public battle to drop ‘City’ from the team’s name in order to focus on ‘Tigers’. He says it will make the team more marketable and send business booming.

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“I won’t pay out if I cannot create income,” Allam said. “That is called ‘throwing money at it’.”

The English FA blocked the name change after fans protested. It’s been a bizarre story that won’t go away, and recently escalated into Allam putting the club up for sale last month. He says there’s been interest in the club, but not from anyone who would be good for the community.

From the BBC:

Hull spent more than £30m in the summer, with striker Abel Hernandez arriving for a club record fee. It remains to be seen if the issue over the club’s name will be resolved before January, although a verdict on the appeal should be reached in November.

Allam was not able to comment on the appeal, but it is understood Hull believe the FA’s decision to introduce a consultation with fans may have prejudiced the case. All previous cases lodged with the FA had not consulted with the views of supporters.

“To take the club global, you need a strong name. I don’t want to create a new name. I do not want to change it from Hull City Tigers to Hull Viking, or Hull Allam or Hull whatever.

“For 110 years, the club has had City and it has had Tigers in the name.

“Now we want to shorten the name to go global – like Coca-Cola, like Twitter, like Google. You will never make it if your name is Hull City Association Football Club Tigers Ltd. You will never make it.”

There are really two parts of this conversation. The first is whether Allam should be able to change the name of the team. That’s complicated, but in this instance there really isn’t any harm in it (at least speaking broadly). Hull fans can call it city until they die, literally and figuratively, and for as long as I’ve followed the team I’ve heard them referred to Hull far more often than I’ve heard them referred to as Hull City.

Yet the same point defeats Allam’s contention that he’ll “never make it” with a name like Hull City Association Football Club Tigers Ltd. Sure you will. People don’t call Hull that name now.

For another thing, if Hull wins a bunch of games, makes it back into Europe and delights its fans with its style of play, their brand will grow even if they changed their name to Ketchup High-Five Town.

Football Association saying “No” to Hull City name change ahead of April 9

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April 9 will be a big day in the long-running story regarding Hull City ownership’s desire to formally change the name of the club from Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers, and another side is coming down on the side of the fans.

Supporters have been up-in-arms regarding the quest of owners Assem and Ehab Allam to change the name to make the club more internationally marketable, and the Football Association’s Membership Committee is the next group ready to back the supporters ahead of the April meeting.

The committee’s recommendation to reject the name change is reportedly unanimous.

Vice chairman Ehab Allam took a more fan-friendly approach to trying to sway public opinion with his open letter to the fans, while Assem Allam seems to prefer the threatening route.

It’s a shame, as Ehab made some decent points in his letter:

“Currently there are six teams in the Premier League with ‘City’ in their name and, with the exception of Manchester City, all of those clubs are in a similar league position to us, and playing to similar sized crowds.

“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, who are simply hoping to use the Premier League, and its global audience, to advertise.”

It’s all about public relations. At least one Hull City executive seems to get that, while the other doesn’t seem to understand the idea of a focus group.

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