Hull City Supporters’ Trust wishes to thank all the fans who participated in last night’s “red card” protest against the club’s membership scheme.
We know that the vast majority of City supporters oppose the scheme but we were delighted by the overwhelming visual opposition to the club’s plans. Considering many of those joining the protest might be personally benefiting through price reductions, it shows the generosity of spirit amongst Hull City fans that they are concerned about the scheme’s impact on their fellow supporters, particularly children, young people and seniors.
Following last night’s events, and Steve Bruce revealing in his post-match interview that Assem Allam is currently suffering with illness, we’ve had contact from the club asking us to stop the protests. We are of course sorry to hear about Mr Allam’s illness and wish him a speedy recovery. However, at the same time as saying the protests should cease, the club are continuing to press ahead with the scheme and in fact claiming to the Trust that memberships are selling well, which is something we struggle to believe.
The club are effectively saying that they don’t have to listen to the fans because memberships are selling well, and Steve Bruce says that fans who don’t like the scheme shouldn’t join it. This prompts us to instigate further action. We don’t want to call for a full boycott of the scheme as the manager suggests – it’s up to individual fans to decide if they want to join or not – but we are calling for fans to not sign up until Friday 6th May, the deadline for guaranteeing your seat. If you’re willing to risk losing your seat (and let’s face it, there isn’t going to be huge demand for it unless you sit in a ‘Zone 1’ area) then you could even wait until August before joining the new scheme. Let’s put the club’s claim to the test and continue to show them how seriously we oppose this scheme. If like many people you would like to make a statement in protest but don’t want to give up supporting your club, this is the perfect way to do that without showing your hand just yet.
We also urge supporters who are going to sign up to first look very carefully at the terms and conditions of the scheme. There are some clauses which cause us concern and we are investigating this. We’ll explain our concerns relating to this in more detail soon.
It would take no time at all for Ehab Allam to order the scheme suspended and authorise a full and proper dialogue with supporters. We will gladly suspend our protests if and when that happens. But until the club start to listen, we will continue to fight this pernicious scheme.
Despite the potential for promotion, support for the club is waning (note the number of empty seats last night) directly as a consequence of the Allam family’s policies. The membership scheme will deliver a body blow to that remaining support. It is too important an issue to ignore. Unless the club agree to suspend the scheme and engage in dialogue, we will continue with the red card protest in front of the Sky cameras at Bolton on Saturday as well as the call for fans to delay joining the membership scheme.