THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Owner’s questionable claims

15 September ~ Although the stand-off between Assem Allam and Hull City supporters has existed for over a year now, tonight's game against West Ham United, in front of the Sky cameras, is likely to feature the first instance of supporters calling for the owner to go. At a one-man press conference this week, Allam reopened a series of old wounds that proved he had learned nothing, heard nothing and still cares for nothing to do with his club's history, and the reaction has been fierce. It remains a strange relationship.

The supporters who have been exasperated by Allam's outbursts and economies with the truth have still acknowledged and been grateful for his benevolence, right up to the shutting of the transfer window a fortnight ago when four new players, at some expense, joined the first-team squad. But his latest act of egotism is, it seems, proving a bridge too far.

The first known “Allam Out” banner has been embroidered and displayed on social media, and moderate supporters who hated Allam's proposal to change the club name but wanted him to remain are now starting to believe a new owner would be the better option. His press conference, an event full of fabrications and incoherent protestations, made it clear he still intended to get clearance to change the name unless he sold the club in the meantime. He further claimed that the club had been put up for sale the day after the FA turned down his application in April.

Nobody knows what to believe any more, but they do know that Hull City Tigers has not been the club name for 110 years, something Allam claims to be true. It is currently the business name, but not the team name. It is also clear that while Allam stated that the appeal was to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the body itself has confirmed that no such appeal has been lodged. Furthermore, despite Allam hating Hull City Council for refusing to sell him the KC Stadium, the council has declared that no bid was ever made and that Allam has never apologised for calling the supporters who opposed his plans "hooligans".

The supporters also know that "Hull Tigers" is not shorter than "Hull City", despite Allam inexplicably claiming the contrary, and that that the club promised to reveal the details of the ballot of season-ticket holders on the name change issue last season (a process so skewed, official poll companies declared it to be farcical) and have never done so.

A televised Premier League game provides the ideal opportunity for the supporters to begin their campaign to remove Allam from the club, though it seems to be a reasonable notion for him to merely retire and hand over the reins to his son and heir Ehab who, while officially supportive of his father, has proved a much more moderate and accessible figure in private. This was what many assumed the press conference was about: the abdication and consequent accession within the Allam family. That it wasn't about this at all means that instead of the new era in the boardroom that would befit current unprecedented successes on the pitch, the wretched old one continues to fester. City fans have gone from frustrated to downright angry and only one man is responsible for it. Matthew Rudd

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