UK & World News
Hull City AFC Renamed Tigers By Owner Allam
Hull City AFC will be renamed Hull City Tigers, it has been revealed by the Egyptian-born owner who runs the risk of stoking a backlash among fans.
Owner Assem Allam has confirmed that the club will abandon the Association Football Club moniker at the start of the new season. It has been part of the Yorkshire club's name since its formation in 1904.
Mr Allam made the announcement in the Hull Daily Mail, saying: "Hull City is irrelevant. My dislike for the word 'City' is because it is common.
"City is also associated with Leicester, Bristol, Manchester and many other clubs.
"I don't like being like everyone else. I want the club to be special. It is about identity. City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long."
Any references to AFC on club branding are to be phased out, although AFC will remain on the shirt crest during their first season back in the Barclays Premier League, before being removed from the 2014/15 campaign.
According to the Mail's report, Mr Allam wants to market the club as Hull City Tigers locally and Hull Tigers to national and international audiences.
"In the commercial world, the shorter the name, the better. The more it can spread quickly," Mr Allam said.
He took over Hull City in 2010 following their relegation from the top flight and his investment is credited with saving the club from a significant financial crisis.
"I have always used short names in business. It gives you power in the science in marketing. The shorter, the more powerful the message. In Tigers, we have a really strong brand," Mr Allam said.
Mr Allam's son and vice-chairman Ehab Allam defended the decision to drop AFC from the club's name
He said: "AFC is redundant, it is not used by the club, the fans never mention AFC, nor do the media. We have dropped something that is redundant, that is of no value, and is of no use."
However, Ehab Allam admitted the club could not force people to accept the rebrand.
He said: "People have the right to call the club what they like, it's their club.
"We are not going to fans and saying they all have to refer to us in the same way.
"They call it what they like, we will do the same, but it is for commercial reasons that we are choosing this branding."
Managing director Nick Thompson, meanwhile, sought to quell supporter upset over the change by urging them "to judge it in the fullness of time".
Bernard Noble, of the Hull City Official Supporters' Club, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "My personal opinion is I'm disappointed because I'm a bit of a traditionalist. But this guy saved us from liquidation and administration and it's his club."
Fans expressed their anger at the change on various websites.
User Kinoftheheat said on the website Hull City Mad: "It's embarrassing and makes me feel a little further away from the club.
"I will not use the term and will not buy anything with the term on it."
User Exiled said on fan site City Independent: "We are Hull CITY, we have been for 109 years and since we played in black and amber stripes our nick name has been the tigers not the other way around.
"I fear this is going to get ugly just when we should be celebrating our finest hour.
"I'm going to say it sounds like an innocent misjudgement and one that can quickly be put right."
However TenfootTiger said on the same website: "I'm not too bothered. What's matter with you all? You're all being too conservative and Luddite-like.
"Times change, things move on and they obviously want to harness the international marketing opportunities - and what's wrong with that?
"Anyway, nothing has really changed. The name is HULL CITY TIGERS. (NOT Hull Tigers)."