‘Tigerlink’ editor Peter Johnson shares his views on the current lack of fan engagement at City, and his proposed solution…
Our national press, including the ‘red tops’ are starting to expose the truth. They are starting to lift the lid on the unacceptable and irresponsible behaviour of our owners. Surely it is time for the Allams to contact the Hull City Supporters Trust and resume normal fan consultation? Otherwise each day the Allams stay could do more damage. Protests galore look likely in coming weeks and we need stability and peace in this ‘civil war’ between owners and fans.
We also appeal to the Club to start a proper, structured and minuted Fans Liaison and Advisory Group (FLAG).
My Tigerlink Supporter group was proud to be part of the last FLAG meeting on 4 May 2013 but sadly it was discontinued by the Club at the height of the name change fiasco and the subsequent departure of Chief Executive Nick Thompson, who was never replaced.
The collapse of the FLAG was something of a watershed, as both communication from the Club and fan consultation have slowly deteriorated since. Despite promises to do so, no Chief Executive has ever been appointed. On 23 January 2014 the Hull Daily Mail reported Ehab Allam was stepping up his search for a successor to Nick Thompson, but it came to nothing.
The FLAG was a truly democratic and representative group as it included a variety of individual fans of all backgrounds and ages, as well as those fronting all Hull City fans groups. A return of this group would be a significant step to restoring normality and stability to the football club and an ideal move for any new regime to bring popularity and inspire a positive approach for the future. It would help boost the morale of supporters and help shift the dark clouds that linger over the KCOM.
The FLAG meeting on 4 May 2013 had put plans in place for fans to actively work in partnership with the Club. This would be a wonderful point from which to resume normality and rebuild a Club/Supporter relationship at the KCOM. The Hull City Supporters Trust would hopefully be the mainstay of this new FLAG. They might, for example, allow selected Trust members to represent the HCST at the FLAG meetings. Or if Trust members have specialist knowledge, skills, or experience, say with away travel, health and safety or social media, they might work on specific projects with Hull City staff. It might also be useful to take a look at the Supporter Liaison Officer and similar posts, which were on the agenda back in 2013.
So let’s raise the FLAG once again at the KCOM. We must move forward together and use this and other initiatives to turn things around. We need to be ready for a more peaceful era, and have the mechanisms in place to show the world our Trust and our fans are some of the most forward thinking in the land. When the moans and the protests are over, we need to be ready to rebuild.