November 14, 2013

It must disappoint you that you’ve had such a great start to the season, the fans really should be on a high at the moment but that some, there’s a small faction who are upset with you for, for dropping AFC and potentially dropping City as well from the name.

Yeah we have dropped AFC, it meant nothing to the football and to the club and to the area. Er, City we are considering. I could have dropped it if I want to in early this year I did not cause I don’t drop shorter names for the sake of shorten. We need to know that we going to achieve the object of the exercise and that’s why we’ve not done it. I don’t know why the fuss, we have not shortened, we have not removed the word City from the name. We have not changed the name, we are trying to shorten the name. The name since 1904 in the companies house and with the FA has always been Hull City AFC Tigers Ltd. We have not introduced Tigers or reduced. All what we’ve done, we have removed AFC, and that’s non-negotiable, and I won’t entertain any question about it. I would not entertain questions. City I haven’t done it yet. I’m looking at it, and by the early next year we will decide, will have decided to drop City or to keep, er, City. But one thing, we will not issue next season’s season passes before we have decided to drop or to keep City because I would like the fans to vote by their feet. I will not issue this before they know what we’ve done, to be honest with the fans and transparent. Er, It’s very unfortunate really that small group of the fans try to ruin it for the rest. Let’s enjoy Premier League football. You keep talking about history and name and… I’m not historian. There are things you’re good at, things you don’t good at. I am not a historian and I don’t look at the, the… I look at the future. You look at the past, you live in the past, but if you want to live in the past take the past as a whole. We were equivalent to League Eight. OK, take City and AFC ten times and stay in League Eight or Conference or whatever. Er……I can not help you with the history. I can help with the quality of football. And I’m committed to get the best quality  European football into the area. That’s things I can attempt to do, and I think I have achieved in my life targets. If you want names, AFC, have it, but I’m not your man. I’m not the right man for you. Er, … It is… You know when they call City Till They Die or something, you talk about a few hundred, you only talk about few hundred, but they shout louder and they have banners. I will never run my club for the community at large by banners or by who shouts louder. We have seen before in the trade unions which you wouldn’t remember the mining industry, they went gone from Britain because we had trade unions who shouted louder and carried the banners. You will remember Arthur Scargill. This guy gave the, mine, mine, the mining to death. I’m not having this. I won’t allow them to do that. Fans, yes that’s their club, and I have done it for them and spend money for the fans, but for the fans, not for five hundred of the fans. They can shout as high and loud as they… Is not me. Is not me.

How was the meeting, you know that you had with the fans. Was it productive from your perspective? Was it positive?

Yes. They conducted… It was conducted in a very sensible manner. I was pleased with it. We had, they explained the situation and then I explained the situation. In actual fact the comment was made, yes there’s a wider issue, it is a wider issue is not there when I explained you need to shorten the name to go global, to create a big impact. It’s like Twitter, Google, Apple, Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola. The shorter the name, the stronger the impact and that’s what takes you global. Now, the club is called, now, Hull City Tigers. If you want to shorten this would you drop Hull? No. Would you drop Tigers? No. Would you drop City? Is the one that logically the one you choose to drop because it doesn’t mean anything for football. Hull is the area, and tiger is the symbol of power, and luckily we have a very good logo, the tigers. Tiger’s not only powerful, symbol of power, but also is a good looking animal. In my view is the best looking animal, better looking animal than… It shows you the power and it’s a good looking animal. And we take the club forward to go globally, rather than sit in a corner and cry and want to a hundred years ago we were called AFC, a hundred years ago you were League Eight or whatever, and is not me, I can’t help you with that. I can help with the promoting the club but I can’t help with that. 

You said you’re gonna conduct some market research, is that correct? Into whether it is financially viable, is that right?

Yes I’m looking, I’m studying the case. I need time and that’s why I did not change- shorten-  the name earlier this year, when I could. Is the same application form, by the way. I removed AFC, I could have removed City. There was no point. I need, I don’t rush into things. I need to look that I’m going to achieve something. Err, and therefore, I left it till  maximum before we issued the new season passes, as a maximum, so everybody will know where to stand. Er, I don’t want just… I feel sorry for the community for the majority of the fans, that there’s a minority trying to spoil the season for them. That’s the time we all should be very pleased, very pleased with the results, with the management of the football, with the squad we’ve got, and with the quality of the football on a match-day, and I don’t want really… I’m not happy that a few, no more than a few hundred, and you will see this when we issue new season passes, you will see it’s few hundred. Do you know when we dropped the AFC and came public and again same small few hundred, I’m saying five hundred, I’m exaggerating really, you’re not talking about two hundred, and they shouting louder, banners, ‘we will stop the season pass, will return my passes, will return the commercials’, and immediately I instructed my management in the club that anyone wants to return season passes is to return immediately same day cash without deducting management charges and anybody wants to return the shirt or the shorts or anything, immediately to be taken back for cash, immediately. And you know what happened? One returned the shirt. One. So it’s a shouting louder and carrying the banners. I’m too old for that.

If the market research comes back negatives, would you consider keeping City?

Yeah, I’ve no reason to change, to… number one, no change of names. I don’t change names. We shorten names, yes, if necessary, if and when necessary, that’s all. Not… I don’t shorten name because I’ve got nothing else to do. No, there is a reason. I’m a very, very busy man. I’m still working full time at the age of 74 cause I can’t afford to relax with the commitment I have. My commitment to my company, my commitment to err the err university and the medical research and my commitment to the club and to the fans, so I can’t… and to the Daisy Appeal, err which we’re doing a very, very good job and we’re having shortly received the state of the art latest technology CT scan, it will be best in the country, the best in the country will be in Hull. I have this commitment, I’m very busy. I’m too busy to talk about nonsense, really, err I can’t have, I don’t have, I wish I had the time. I don’t have time for nonsense. I have time to achieve things, but not for nonsense. People want to talk nonsense, please yourself. People want City Till They Die, please themselves. I want Tigers while we are alive.

But there is a chance that City could stay if the market research…

Is a free country! Call it what you like!

No but is there a chance it could stay in the official title if the market research comes back negative, if it shows it isn’t financially beneficial?

If it is not financial with anything there is no point of changing, of shortening. No point of shortening is there’s no… As I said, I’m not sitting here having nothing else to do so I shorten names, no! Err…. and is not necessarily a market issue because I don’t want people to say is market research and question this and question that and who’s doing it. I had an interview before, ‘who’s doing this?’, no no. It is my decision. When it comes to commercial it is my decision. When it comes to the fan, it is their decision. The fans’ decision if they change the colour, change the logo, change the name, that’s definitely, I would never do that without the fans err, err, discussing with the fans and I wouldn’t want to do that anyway, change colour, change logo, change err name. Shortening the name is essential and if it proves essential, beneficial, I will do it, and I’m not here to discuss who is doing the research, who is doing the study. It is my decision, and otherwise I will stop working here and start discussing err whatever the advice I am getting.

When could this happen? When’s the earliest that the City…

We have to decide on this before err by early next year because it will certainly before we issue new season passes for the fans to decide what they want to do. Sorry it’s err, early next year to do it or not to do it, to shorten the name by removing City and become as powerful as Southampton. Is not Southampton AFC. It is not Southampton City AFC, no, it is Southampton Saints, right? And we have Arsenal, you have Chelsea, you have err Everton, you have West Bromwich, you have many many, you can play football without being AFC do you know!

Your dream is to get them into Europe isn’t it?


That’s your dream isn’t it?


Do you feel that this could do that?

Yes and I urge the small minority of the fans who don’t even represent 1 per cent to reconsider and let the community enjoy football, high quality football. You see Leeds. ITV Calendar is based in Leeds. You know that at one time they were talking about Red Bull buying Leeds United and the fans said yes and change the name to Red Bull and the fans said yes, take us to Premier League. And I wouldn’t do that anyway, I wouldn’t change that. But even changing the name to American name, the fans said but take us to quality football. Cardiff: the fans are happy, watching quality football, and beating Swansea, you know how it is derby match it is, and playing Premier League…

In red…

In red! Can’t you see, that’s sensible. They’re watching good football. Do you want to watch a shirt or a football? But…

But the argument…

But as it happened I am dead against changing name or colour or logo. I’m very pleased with the logo and the colour and the name, Hull Tigers, if that will be better for the club, and for the community so we need the fans to be… They come up with a very good idea in the meeting, they say, OK, what if we come up with another idea to generate income, commercial income instead of shortening the name. I said I love it! Come up, and I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the fans who are shouting louder and carrying banners to come to me and say, well, if you want to, because you want to go global and create commercial income, we have a different idea. They were all there, there were about 15 of the representatives there in the meeting, and they have heard their colleague saying what if we come up with an alternative. I jumped on the opportunity, I said yes, I give you a meeting at short notice. Come up with this. Shouting louder will not change me. Carrying banners will not change me. You’ll die with City, die with City, will not change me. But let the rest of the community enjoy it. Stop this. The community have the right to enjoy good football.