Hull City Official Supporters Club decline CTWD offer to issue joint statement to FA on name change proposals

January 10, 2014

Over the last few weeks members of the City Till We Die (CTWD) committee have been, at our instigation, talking to committee members from the Hull City Official Supporters Club (HCOSC) and the Hull City Southern Supporters (HCSS), in the hope that we could agree a joint statement acceptable to all parties about the proposed name change to form a part of our submission to the FA.

HCSS are in the process of polling their members and are considering in committee their response to our joint statement. Sadly, HCOSC have decided that they cannot be a party to a joint statement with us and HCSS. In order to be as transparent as possible we have published here the email from the HCOSC directors declining to be part of a joint statement, and below this the CTWD email response.

Email received from HCOSC follows:

With reference to your E Mail of 0917 dated Monday 6th January 2014 attaching your draft statement. 

Just to clarify and remove any possible confusion on the matter, the Board of Directors of the Hull City Official Supporters Club (HCOSC) do not wish to participate with Hull City Southern Supporters (HCSS) and City Till We Die (CTWD) in an agreed statement to the Football Association (FA). Please do not include the HCOSC on any statements or press releases that you issue. 

We will be making our own submission to the FA, taking into consideration our members views, on the Club’s request to change the playing name to Hull Tigers. Nothing has changed, this has always been our intention. For the record, we recognise that there are many strongly held views for and against the name change, and, it should be said, many who appear indifferent to the proposal. Whether the indifferent are in a majority or minority is not something any group can legitimately claim to know. There simply isn’t the evidence base for anyone to make definitive claims for or against a name change. 

That said, it is certainly not our intention, at any time, to criticise any individuals or groups within the Tiger Nation on the issue; that will serve no purpose; it would also be downright unfair. Separate submissions can be made without undermining the fact we all value our football club. We all want to see the club prosper on and off the field and we believe this is best achieved by everyone getting behind Steve Bruce and the players. 

We have spoken to the FA recently and made it clear that we will be making our submission on behalf of our members only. We have also made it clear that the submission will not seek to convey the impression we represent the majority of Hull City fans – which is manifestly not the case. Indeed, if the FA genuinely want to know what the vast (silent) majority think on the matter, in terms of preferences, the thousands of season card holders plus those who have attended games this season and indeed hundreds if not thousands of fans who cannot get to games will need to be asked . 

HCOSC Board of Directors
10th January 2014

The CTWD response follows:

Board of Directors of the Hull City Official Supporters Club (HCOSC),

This is in response to the email you sent to our committee member with whom you have had recent contact. The email has now been considered by the wider City Till We Die (CTWD) committee. We agree that it clarifies your position on the issues that you cover and are grateful for your candour. CTWD has never released a press statement claiming alignment or support of any persons or group unless that support has been clearly forthcoming and of course will not do so given your views as stated. 

Nevertheless, we are disappointed that you feel unable to sign up to a joint statement on the proposed name change along with ourselves and the Hull City Southern Supporters (HCSS). Many of our members are HCOSC (and HCSS) members, so it still seems a sensible aim to us and one which a number of our supporters had urged us to pursue.

We strongly disagree with your statement “…there are strongly held views for and against the name change, and, it should be said, many who appear indifferent to the proposal.” The polls we have seen from every fans group – including the HCOSC – have shown an overwhelming majority vehemently opposed to the name change from those who have voted. As to “indifference,” we consider it a misrepresentation to assume that people not voting in any poll means they do not care. It is just as likely to be some other reason, for example the poll may not have been as well publicised as it could have been. It is wrong to attempt to second guess why people haven’t voted. In any event, the 1500 members who have joined us in our first two months as an organisation, the 5,000 followers on twitter, the 4000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, the 30,000 leaflets people have taken from us and the 9,000 “No To Hull Tigers” badges that are being worn, the 3,000 people who have signed the giant flag, along with the 15,000 people who have signed the petition against the name change, suggests to us that this is an issue of the first importance to the Tiger Nation. We are unsure what you consider “definitive evidence” but as a group that is currently a “one issue” organisation, CTWD could not have achieved the reach it has without this huge support from Hull City AFC fans across the globe.

We do agree that it is important that all fans continue to give their full-throated support to Steve Bruce and the team. At CTWD we will to continue to urge this, as we have done throughout our campaign. We agree too that a wider poll of Hull City AFC fans on this issue would have been useful, which was why we wrote to Assem Allam in November offering to organise a poll of season ticket holders. Disappointingly, he never responded to us on this, which was clearly an opportunity missed. If you are intending to do further polling of your fans, we are very happy to help with this as we have said before. We are aware that the HCSS are currently polling their membership on the proposed name change and it will be interesting to see the result of this now that the name change proposal is formally on the FA’s table.

We remain willing to meet and talk further about this should your views change, and to share ideas and information where this is mutually beneficial. Given that you have been good enough to formally set out the position of the Directors of the HCOSC on this issue, we will put your email (with the email address and the name of the sender redacted) along with this response on our website so that we remain as transparent with our supporters as we have attempted to do throughout the campaign. Please feel free to make public any of the recent email trail between your committee members and ours (again, with names and addresses redacted).

Best wishes,

The City Till We Die campaign committee