Like many supporters, the Hull City Supporters’ Trust has become increasingly concerned that the owners of Hull City AFC, in defiance of the English Football Association (FA), the fans and the dictates of common sense are continuing their pointless quest to change the historic name of our Club. We have seen this recently in the ongoing refusal to use the Club’s name; having already been dropped from the badge and removed from match day announcements it has now vanished from the match day programme. The name of the Club’s Facebook account has been changed. There has been an ill-judged attempt to attract people in India to a “Hull Tigers” brand with a visit to Mumbai “publicised” by a Twitter account that, judging by the followers it has attracted, has been an embarrassing – and presumably expensive – failure. Saddest of all has been the owners’ cynical use of Dean Windass to push this “Hull Tigers” rebranding, leading to Dean being booed by a minority of fans during the previous home game.
To deal with this first, though we completely understand and share the frustration of fans, we strongly condemn the booing of Dean Windass. Deano is an authentic Hull City hero and he deserves better. In addition, he has had a number of well-publicised problems since his playing days have ended and we don’t want to see those exacerbated by his being caught in the middle of a row between the Club’s fans and its owners. This episode appears to be a distasteful attempt by the owners to split Hull City fans by using one of our own. We think Dean has been very poorly advised by the Club’s owners and we want no part of this. We condemn the booing, just as we condemned the booing of Hull City fans by fellow fans earlier in the season.
The position of the Hull City Supporters’ Trust has not changed. Unlike the Club’s owners we will continue to respect the FA’s process on the name change and will wait for their verdict, which we expect will be a rejection of the owners’ “appeal” against the original FA decision. We have recently written to the FA to inform them of the activities at the Club as detailed above, as we are concerned that these contravene at times the letter as well as the spirit of the FA’s ruling. We have been in contact with various national journalists who are sympathetic towards us so they are aware of what is happening at our Club.
The Hull City Supporters’ Trust call on the owners of Hull City AFC to halt their attempts to change the name of our Club by stealth. We remain willing, as we always have been, to work with the Club’s owners for the betterment of Hull City. Given that the owners have been clear that the club is now for sale we will be very happy to work with future owners to the same end, using our tradition to power our ambition. We won’t allow our owners to set us against other fans of Hull City. Players go, managers go, owners go. The fans and the name go on.