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Background – the Tigers Co-operative and City Till We Die
The Trust’s annual report provides a short account of these two groups and their merger in December 2014.
CTWD, of course, ran a successful campaign to prevent the name of Hull City AFC being changed to Hull Tigers. It submitted a consultation response and members of the group gave a presentation (including this video) to the FA . The FA Council rejected owner Dr Allam’s proposal in April 2014.
In June 2014 Mark Gretton and Kate Ogram presented on the ‘No To Hull Tigers’ campaign at the Supporters Direct (Scotland) conference, Stirling.
In February 2015 the Tigers Co-operative begin the distribution of its legacy funds that its members decided be given to football-related good causes. The donations were:
(i) £6,000 grant to Hull Sunday Boys League and the East Riding Girls League to help teams and youngsters who are prevented by financial hardship in participating in playing football. Clubs will be able to apply for grants normally of up to £100 (you can read more about the scheme, and access the application form, here)
(ii) £6,000 to the Teenage Cancer Trust, Hull City AFC’s nominated charity partner
(iii) Discussions are taking place with the ERCFA about donating a further £6,000 to help disabled teams and players in Hull and East Yorkshire to play football and to attend matches at the KC.
Hull City Supporters’ Trust – activity & achievements since the merger:
HCST Chairman Geoff Bielby and fellow Board member Phil Walton met Hull City’s newly appointed Marketing & Communications Manager Tom Rowell, as well as the club’s Press Officer Luke Cash. In what was a productive meeting, both parties agreed that a more open and meaningful dialogue was needed in order to address a number of clear issues which currently exist between the club and its loyal fan-base. As Hull City’s largest independent fan group, the Trust stressed that while this dialogue is desperately needed, ultimately it may also require a regime change and reforms in a number of key areas, including ticketing, for divisions to be fully healed.
A full meeting report can be read here.
HCST launch #AllamQuotes campaign. Each week HCST look at a unique, and fully referenced, #AllamQuote from the past six years, before then openly and fairly examining to what extent this quote was actually acted upon, with the aim of exposing the current regime’s spin for what it really is.
Following the news of several ‘collapsed’ potential deals to sell the club, including the aforementioned Dai family bid, the HCST board discussed new potential actions with the aim of accelerating the sale of the club, after being made acutely aware of unrest in the ranks of Hull City Supporters. Full statement can be read here.
HCST welcome reported news of a possible agreement between the current owners and and the prospective new owners the Dai family.
The Trust noted that the takeover had not been formally completed and remained subject to the Dai family passing the Premier League’s ‘Fit and Proper Persons’ test. However, wanted to express their delight at signs of progress in takeover discussions. Full statement can be read here.
The Hull City Council Safety Advisory Group meet, and City fan and former HSCT Director Rob Harmer was in attendance as a Hull City fans’ representative. The minutes from the meeting are available to read here: SAG Meeting Minutes 01-07-16
HCST Chairman Geoff Bielby attends inaugural meeting with senior executives of the Premier League including Richard Scudamore, the league’s Chief Executive, as documented here. Discussion includes the fact that concessionary discounts for the young and old must be available as a Premier League rule. The Premier League confirmed however that Hull City do not accept they should have to comply with this rule.
The Trust continues to campaign against the membership scheme. It formally writes to the club asking questions of the terms and conditions, reiterates its call for the club to suspend the scheme and talk to fans and warns against the scheme’s financial implications for both the club and supporters. Ehab Allam continues to ignore these calls, only issuing a statement via the club’s match programme; the Trust responds with an open letter. There is a final red card protest at the Rotherham match.
HCST hosts a Football Supporters’ Federation roadshow at The Lair. Matthew Rudd comperes the event, which has the FSF’s Director of Communications, Michael Brunskill, as the guest speaker.
The Trust launches a survey to gather views on the membership scheme from its shareholders and the wider fanbase. Over a thousand responses are received in a few days, demonstrating overwhelming opposition to the scheme. The Trust then goes on to call for the scheme to be scrapped, that the club talks to its fans and offers an alternative – reduced season tickets with no zoning for the stadium and retaining concessions. HCST also supports an online petition against the scheme.
With the club silent on the issue, HCST asks fans to give a visual display of their opposition to the scheme by displaying red cards at the Brentford match. The result is dramatic, with the KCOM stadium a sea of red prior to kick-off. The Trust undertakes to repeat the protest at the Bolton match and calls on supporters to delay joining the scheme. For those who are considering it, HCST points out serious concerns with the scheme’s terms and conditions.
The club launches a new membership scheme for 2016, significant elements of which come in for widespread criticism, including from HCST. The Trust then welcomes the news that Hull City is reviewing the scheme; HCST stands by to survey its shareholders on their views of the scheme and its impact on them.
The Trust holds its Annual General Meeting, at which some old board members stand down and new ones are elected. At the following board meeting, Geoff Bielby and Ryan Richardson are elected Chair and Vice-Chair respectively.
The club and the Stadium Management Company make changes to the way match tickets are sold, which has led to problems for supporters. The Trust writes to both bodies about the issue.
The Trust and the Football Supporters’ Federation begin work to develop proposals to strengthen the FA’s rules on heritage.
Mark Gretton, first Chair of City Till We Die and then HCST, steps down from the role. The Board elects Ryan Richardson as Interim Chair.
The final legacy gift from the members of the Tigers Co-operative is handed over, with former Co-op chair Frank Beill presenting a cheque for £2,000 to the KIDS charity. KIDS Yorkshire & The Humber supports disabled children and young people, and the donation will allow its youth groups to access City matches.
Hull City fans, led by HCST, team up with Nottingham Forest supporters and join in the FSF’s national protest against high away ticket prices.
The Trust and Middle Child Theatre announce a collaboration that will see the development and production of a new piece of theatre that delves into Hull City’s prospective name change and will feature the words of City fans.
HCST writes an open letter to Ehab Allam to begin an improved dialogue with the Club’s management on a variety of matters and offering a fresh start – and an olive branch in the form of player sponsorship – in our relationship with the club.
As part of the Tigers Co-operative legacy, £2,000 is presented by former Co-op chair Frank Beill to the East Riding Pan Disability League.
The FA once again reject the application by Hull City’s owners to change the name of the club, this time with a larger majority against the idea. The Trust calls upon the owners to reverse the rebrand and rebuild relationships with the supporters.
At the 2015 Supporters Summit in Manchester, the FA decision is given centre-stage in the chair’s opening address; HCST also present at one of the Summit’s workshops.
The Trust’s motions at the Football Supporters’ Federation’s AGM to change the FA’s rules to give better protection to clubs’ heritage is passed, meaning that the FSF will pursue this with us.
The “Public Art” to commemorate Hull City’s former Anlaby Road ground has progressed to the important stage of appointing an arts administration, finance and project management expert.
In a statement HCST argues that the club needs to review the price it has charged Hull City season card holders for next season – the club advertised its prices as for Premier League football and failed to reduce them following relegation.
HCST holds a “Meet theTrust” event at The Lair prior to the Burnley match. City legend Billy Whitehurst makes a guest appearance.
The Trust releases a statement asking the club either to extend the deadline for season card renewals until after the name-change decision or guarantee refunds should the club’s name be changed.
HCST writes to the club requesting that it pays the Living Wage as a minimum to all its staff and contracted employees.
The Trust announces the inception of its Anlaby Road Football Ground Project, an art installation that we hope will be part of the City of Culture 2017.
Following pressure from HCST and other fans’ groups, the club finally say what they spent the ASI funding on. Not its own fans, of course.
The Trust issues a statement supporting the Spirit of Shankly’s boycott over excessive ticket prices at the KC.
Following the Allams’ decision to proceed with their name-change application to the FA, HCST hold a poll of their shareholders and junior members. 99.2% vote to retain the name Hull City.
Former Tigers Co-operative committee members Ian White and Frank Beill (now an HCST Board member) present a cheque for £6,000 to the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at Castle Hill Hospital as part of the Tigers Co-op’s legacy donations.
HCST writes to the Football Association asking them to release the result of the arbitration between the club and the FA. The FA do so and the Trust releases a press statement urging the club to drop its name-change plans in the light of the arbitration’s findings.
A cheque for £2,000 is presented to the East Riding Electric Eels Powerchair Football Club by former Tigers Co-operative chair Frank Beill. This money was part of the Tigers Co-op legacy funds
Rob Harmer, interim HCST Board member, is nominated by the club’s Fans’ Working Group to be the first supporter representative to sit on the Safety Advisory Group.
The Trust holds its first Annual General Meeting and a Board is elected.