HCST Chairman Geoff Bielby gives his thoughts on recent issues around the club following the close of the January transfer window and ahead of the third supporters committee meeting.

I’ve now represented Hull City Supporters’ Trust in two Extraordinary Supporters Committee meetings in November and December where we were joined by Assem and Ehab Allam. I’ll be attending a third next week. We’ve just seen the close of a largely inactive transfer window, although thankfully no players left the club during January. The timing of the club launching its first Hall of Fame event on transfer deadline day raised a few eyebrows to say the least.

With all of this going on, I believe now is a good time to share a few thoughts and add some detail to my recent experiences as chairman of the trust.

Firstly the Hall of Fame, as that began for me last summer when Matt Rudd (a HCST member better known as part of the team behind the Amber Nectar blog and podcasts) suggested I approached the club to propose we work with the club on a Hall of Fame. I did so but Tom Rowell, who has since left the club, claimed they were already considering the idea but wanted to delay it until later in the season. We were keen to press ahead, as one idea was to host the famous front five from the sixties as initial inductees, whilst they are still with us.

In October I was invited together with representatives from the Hull Daily Mail, Senior Tigers and the Official Supporters Club to attend a meeting to choose a shortlist of players from which the initial inductees would be chosen for the Hull City Hall of Fame. Please note the title! I was honoured to do so but in early November, it became apparent that the club had decided to name it the “Tigers Hall of Fame”, yet again desperately avoiding the use of the club’s real name. Once the club confirmed this wouldn’t change, I and HCST reluctantly withdrew our involvement in the scheme.

The five worthy recipients were chosen last month and the event went ahead. I was asked by the club to help them contact families of Billy Bly, Andy Davidson as I knew them from work with Hull City Council for their Centenary Plaques Project. I was also able to help contact Chris Chiltons daughter on behalf of the club. Although proud to assist I’d suggest our club should know who its past players are and how to contact them or their families. Thankfully Hull City Supporters’ Trust do and will continue to respect the club’s history whilst striving to encourage our club to do likewise!

I shall keep reference to Supporters Committee meetings brief as there should be minutes and there’s been plenty of discussion and coverage in the local Press. I say should be as having praised the club for releasing November’s minutes in less than 24 hours, we’re still awaiting December minutes! I wish the meetings themselves were as brief with each one so far lasting four hours.

HCST has been criticised by some fans for taking part or “legitimising” supporters dialogue meeting with our presence. We will continue, but only as long as we see a chance to effect improvements in relations. Once we’ve exhausted all avenues we may need to withdraw. The February meeting will be pivotal I believe; we are close to improvement or a stalemate.

Finally we’ve just passed through the nonsense that is the transfer window. Thankfully we’ve lost no players and two have been added. Much has been said elsewhere but we are where we are with our squad who most believe is good enough to be much higher in the Championship. Let’s hope the players also believe this and that Nigel Adkins and his staff can steer the club upwards to safety.

Assem Allam has mentioned several times he wants to sell the club. He’s told me personally in the December meeting that he is finished at the club and will be leaving at the end of the season whatever happens!

I’m sure Hull City remaining a Championship club in May will be vital for any sale to complete. In the meantime we’ll continue to do everything within our power to try and bring about a return of concession prices and the full use of the club’s name.


6 thoughts on “Chairman’s Update”
  1. HCST has been criticised by some fans for taking part or “legitimising” supporters dialogue meeting with our presence. We will continue, but only as long as we see a chance to effect improvements in relations. Once we’ve exhausted all avenues we may need to withdraw. The February meeting will be pivotal I believe; we are close to improvement or a stalemate.

    Geoff, you’re a better man than me, being in a room with the very people that are destructing Hull City AFC. This “improvement” you speak of is what?

    There seems to be no improvement so far in anything with the Allams. They are clearly managing the decline of City and the plundering of its assets. Beyond legitimizing them, HCST’s presence is appeasement. We need a Churchillian approach, not a Chamberlainesque signing of the Munich Pact.

    We should never surrender.

    1. I can’t argue with your views at all.
      I’ve no intention of coming away waving a Chamberlainesque live of paper though.

      HCST are dug in on the moral high ground and we’ve no intention of retreating.

      Rest assured we will be more like Churchill!

      1. Geoff, thank you for your response, I appreciate your understanding of the need for a Churchillian approach at the next meeting.

        You spoke of an “improvement”:

        “The February meeting will be pivotal I believe; we are close to improvement or a stalemate.”

        What is the nature of this improvement?

        Judging the Allams by their actions and not their words, I have seen no sign of improvement since Steve Bruce’s last signing. There has only been mismanaged decline and pocketing of profits while the club hurtles back to the old fourth division and beyond.

        I would need several showers and baths after being at the same table as the Allams. The stench of hypocrisy emanating from them would make the air unclean.

        1. I agree wholeheartedly.
          Wednesday 7th sees the third Supporters Committee meeting attended by the owners.
          The Agenda items are to review Concessions, specifically the HCST model. The club also want to discuss solutions for Ticket Fraud!.
          The second item is Branding, specifically the HCST suggested amendments to naming conventions page of the Club 40 plus page Brand Guidelines.
          The club have also stated they wish for discussion on the Club Crest.

          HCST have submitted two AOB items.
          1.Asking the.ownera to outline their exit strategy
          2. Seeking Compliance with EFL Structured Dialouge Guidelines regarding future Supporters Committee meetings.

          Failure of the Club to make improvements on the points raised will result in HCST having to consider the value of continuing our involvement

  2. Geoff

    Just wanted to say thanks for all you, and the other active members of the Trust, are doing on behalf of the wider Trust membership, and by extension for city fans and the Hull community. Your post provides a useful and interesting insight into the very trying circumstances you have to work in.

    After boycotting matches last season, I’ve pretty much opted out of the misery of this season altogether, and I confess to feeling a little guilty when I see the hard work others are putting in. Still, when the gruesome twosome have extracted all the financial value they can from the club and cast what’s left aside, hopefully I and others will each be able to play our small part as the Trust looks to help put the pieces back together again.

    Very best wishes for Wednesdays meeting!

  3. Well Geoff, now you have your answer. Ehab Allam is clearly frightened of demonstrations and is unwilling to change anything without conditions that actually change none of the fundamental issues.

    To war we should go, knowing that is better than further appeasement.

    Until the toxic Allams depart, Hull City AFC will be dropping the divisions like a lead balloon.

    No one remembers Chamberlain well, Churchill was remembered as a hero. Never surrender.

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