Hull City loses a long-standing supporter – a personal view

Mike Gill sets out why he is now a former, rather than a current, season ticket holder.  An account, we feel, that will resonate with many shareholders.

I have supported Hull City AFC since 1966 when I was just 11 years old. It was that memorable FA Cup match against Chelsea that first got me hooked. I’ve been hooked ever since. That is until now. I have been a season ticket holder since I was about 20 or so. That is until now.

We have experienced two fantastic seasons of fabulous success. Even this last season begin with so much promise. After automatic promotion, Premier League football again, an FA Cup Final where we gave it real go (unlike this year’s final!) we had European football, the best ever players (on paper) to don the black and amber shirts and a manager who is humble, honest and willing to put his hand up when things go awry. I was not too disappointed when relegation finally came about as it had been coming for some time and I had resigned myself to Championship football next season. Despite this very recent setback, I really should have been enjoying every minute.

And yet there is something wrong. And this feeling had been creeping up on me though I chose to ignore it for a long time. A feeling that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But there was something not quite right about the way the club was being run. Rumours began to surface only to be denied by the owners. Then the rumours became truths. But these truths were being forced out almost as if I didn’t need to know about them. This just fed an expanding unease sneaking over me.

The owners of the club have seemingly forgotten about the likes of me, treated me with contempt and find me somewhat of an irritation in their grandiose plans.

The spat with Hull City Council is the origin of my uncertainty of their motives. The name change fiasco which has demonstrated the owner’s utter contempt for anyone who disagrees with him. At first I thought this would all blow over.

But no, it got worse. The completely biased, supposed consultation exercise which really was a vote for the Allams to remain in control.

The absolute denial that supporters have any valid view on the history and future of the club. The message was clearly “my way or the highway”. Except that it isn’t as Allam (senior) has threatened on numerous occasions back me or the club is sold in 24 hours. He’s still here.

To add insult to injury, the name change is resubmitted despite saying that it wouldn’t be.

The Airco Arena debacle. Community clubs thrown out at short notice despite previous assurances this would not happen. Even going as far as demanding that Hull City Council put money in for a covered pitch to stop them evicting folks from the arena.

Then there was the chaos associated with the ASI money. More denials and no response to reasonable questions. Ehab Allam quoted in the local paper as “treating all fans equally” when all the money was spent on the away end of the KC. Really, all fans, including those from Hull and surrounding area who support Hull City AFC? Really?

Meanwhile, season ticket prices go up again and if a discount is wanted I have to renew before knowing which league the club would be in next season.

The total obliteration of our home town name on passes, shirts, merchandise etc.

Rebranding of the Club by stealth in the hope that no one will notice and that if seen often enough, people will accept it. Those words that the owners are determined for us to be known by appear almost overnight. The writing is literally on the wall. Talk about disrespect …

But the one thing I cannot forgive the Allams for is turning supporters against each other. How can a man who claims his sole intention is to pass on a gift to the community of Hull and East Riding preside over such devastation? A man who says he believes in strong communities. Yet this same man has enticed supporters by his scorn into booing other supporters over singing “City till I die”. A song that has been sung long before the advent of the Allams.

Turning supporters against each other for daring to speak up and challenge the man who saved us. For that he has the right to insult us, rip us off, and desecrate the history of the club? I do not subscribe to the view that “it’s his money and he can do what he likes”. This whole distasteful scenario has been the last straw for me and is sadly the final nail in the coffin of my support to, what is and always will be, Hull City AFC.

Mr Allam has successfully divided a city, alienated and divided supporters, ruined a potentially beneficial relationship with the City Council and made us a laughing stock within football at large with his preposterous behaviours and insistence on giving us an American-style franchise name.

I have not renewed my season pass nor will I whist this family owns the Club. I did not buy a replica shirt this season. I stopped going to the Club shop ages ago.

My heart is no longer in it and I feel totally and utterly let down by a man I once thought was going to be good for us. Not only that, I bloody well believed him and his promises of benevolence! Naive or what? I cannot bring myself to put any more money into the coffers of a man who holds me in sheer contempt.

I have never felt so distant from the club I have supported virtually all my life. This hurts and I don’t think the Allams will ever grasp what the challenges against them are based upon. A football club is more than just a club; it evokes strong emotions and attachments. It is this quality that I don’t think they will ever understand. Very depressing.

I longed for the day when Hull City would play in the top league, appear at Wembley, and go to Europe. Yet, even though all this has happened, it feels tainted, corrupted even.

Mr Allam, you have finally lost a loyal supporter. A very sad day that even now I’m struggling to accept.

 

Mike Gill (former season pass holder and long-term supporter)

 

 

Opinions expressed by guest contributors to this website and forum do not necessarily reflect the views of Hull City Supporters’ Trust.