There has been no response from Hull City to the Hull City Supporters’ Trust’s call for the club to suspend its new membership scheme and talk to supporters.
The scheme in its present form has alienated thousands of City supporters, especially by the club’s treatment of its youngest and oldest fans. The removal of concessions has priced many of these out of attending matches at the KCOM Stadium, whilst the zoning policy and “evictions” from one stand have also made it impossible for many groups to attend as they would wish.
By staying silent Hull City executives are ignoring the wishes of the vast majority of fans, as evidenced by the fantastically well-supported red card protest at the Brentford and Bolton matches as well as the outcome of the Trust’s survey, which found 85% of respondents were unhappy with the membership scheme.
We know Ehab Allam has expressed the view that fans are “irrelevant” but as Hull City supporters we are his customers and the club must start to listen to us. Successful businesses fully engage with their customers; for a football club this is even more important, yet Mr Allam makes no attempt to do this.
To reiterate our call to the club, on 21 April we proposed that:
1) Hull City immediately suspends the introduction of the new membership scheme;
2) The club’s board and senior officials meet urgently with the Trust and other fan groups to discuss the issues and the way forward;
3) The club works in partnership with the Trust, initially on refining costings for a continued season card scheme for 2016/17 and then later on refining an opt-in membership scheme.
We have also written to Hull City, and warned supporters, about serious concerns with some of the scheme’s terms and conditions. These include that the club:
- appears to wish to sell contact details to third party marketing agencies, and supporters have no opportunity to opt out of this arrangement
- can increase the cost of monthly membership every 90 days (that is, up to four times a year), not just once a season
- insists on having supporters’ permission to undertake credit checks, yet the scheme is not a credit agreement nor is its terms and conditions structured to be a credit agreement
Should the club ignore us our protests will continue at the match against Rotherham on Saturday and through the play-offs: the issue is hugely important to too many fans.
Should the club not respond positively we are asking fans to repeat the Red Card protest before kick-off on Saturday, and to make their opposition to the scheme clear verbally as well. We also repeat our encouragement that fans delay signing up to the scheme.
Red Cards will be available at The William Gemmell on Anlaby Road from 10 a.m., and we’ll be at West Park Gates from 11 a.m. Again, we’re calling for volunteers to help distribute them. If you want to bring your own stock of red paper and distribute it, we’d welcome that too!
Scrap the scheme!