Friday 8th September was not a great day for Hull City AFC. Quite apart from the result on the pitch at Derby, both the Premier League (PL) and the Independent Football Ombudsman (IFO) issued damning verdicts on our club’s policy on concessions, or the lack of them, and the clubs failure to offer promised “rewards” for supporters under the Membership Scheme.
Firstly Hull City Supporters Trust would like to thank the PL for continuing to proceed with their action, via the Commission, despite Hull City being relegated from the top tier last season. HCST had pressed the PL to take action over our club’s clear breach of PL Rule 8 in both written requests and two meetings backed by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF).
Whilst we are pleased by the ruling that (should the club return to the PL) concessions must be reinstated, we do however have to express disappointment that a minimum of only 10% is stated in the ruling. This is inadequate.
HCST will continue to press the football authorities, including the English Football League (EFL), to tighten the rules on concessions and to police them adequately.
Although PL Rule 8, which was the basis of the ruling, specifically mentions only junior and senior supporter concessions, HCST are also continuing our call for Hull City to restore disabled concessions, which were removed by the club in 2012.
The second damning report on Friday was the Independent Football Ombudsman’s findings on the mis-selling of the Membership Scheme due to the lack of promised “rewards”.
We specifically note the IFO statement that “it is unacceptable and unprecedented for a club not to cooperate with the IFO”. This stance once again demonstrates the contempt which Hull City’s current ownership shows to both the football authorities and supporters alike.
Finally the attempt by the club to communicate with supporters in Friday’s video message from Hull City’s Vice Chairman was ill-timed, misjudged and the claims he made inadequate. If the Vice Chairman is honest in his claims that he will improve communication with supporters this should involve meeting supporters rather than issuing scripted video messages which fail to address the issues frequently raised by supporters.