The City Till We Die (CTWD) campaign group notes the result of the ballot organised over the last two weeks by Hull City football club.
We are pleased that supporters treated the ballot as a validation of Dr Allam’s ownership of the football club, rather than believing the masquerade that this was a vote on the name change.
The truth of the matter is that this result is largely meaningless, either as a measure of opinions regarding the name change proposal, or as a measure of the supporters’ desire to see Dr Allam and his son Ehab stay at the City helm. The yawning deficiencies of the ballot were there for all to see.
- The ballot form’s presentation of the case for only one of the options flew in the face of all reasonable conventions.
- The loaded nature of the questions, which conflated the name change proposal with the owners’ desire to validate their ownership amongst supporters, made the responses to each question confused and garbled.
- The inclusion of the entirely bizarre and divisive “not bothered” option added further irrelevance to the ballot.
Then there was the haphazard manner in which the ballot was conducted.
- Large swathes of the season card-holding electorate failed to receive an email inviting them to cast a vote, meaning they had to rely on the media (or CTWD!) to hear about the important decision that they were being asked to make.
- The ballot form provided for downloading was so poorly created that hundreds of people sent in blank responses, after having completed their votes and seen their details wiped from the form.
- The apparent insecurity of both the boxes provided to receive hard copy ballot forms, and the email account holding the returned ballots remains a cause for concern. The email account was supposedly totally secure, yet Hull City staff were routinely able to report on the number of votes cast.
- The ballot boxes for hard copy forms were supposed to be available for use during two fixtures at the KC Stadium, one a City match and the other a Hull FC fixture, yet twice people were turned away. How many voters simply gave up in the face of such incompetence?
Such basic process errors makes one wonder what the independent adjudicators Beyond Dispute – hired at great expense to Hull City, we are assured by the club – were up to when the ballot process was conceived and enacted.
As long ago as last November, CTWD called on Dr Allam to undertake a fair and simple ballot amongst season card holders, to gauge opinions about his proposed name change. Instead he conducted a decidedly unfair ballot, which was far from simple and appallingly managed, four months after it was useful and several weeks after the FA announced its provisional recommendation on the name change.
It is a matter of great regret to CTWD that Dr Allam has continued to act so disrespectfully to Hull City supporters. We genuinely hope that we have now reached the end of this sorry episode. We call for the name Hull City to be retained for good, allowing supporters to focus their minds on the tremendous feats that Steve Bruce, the coaching staff and the playing staff have achieved thanks to the unprecedented financial generosity of Dr Allam.
Who knows, win against Everton in our last League fixture and Hull City might be playing in the Europa League next season! We fervently hope that City supporters are given the chance to savour that possibility with this name change debacle put behind us.