Update from Tuesday, March 18
Hull City released an official statement on Tuesday, accusing the FA of prejudice after news emerged that the governing body was set to reject Assem Allam's proposal to change the club's name.
The statement read:
The club is disappointed with the timing of yesterday’s announcement made by The FA.
We feel we have been prejudiced right from the outset. The FA introduced a new policy to handle our application on the back of consultations with the City Til We Die group, and we therefore feel that our application was already pre-judged. This feeling has been reinforced with yesterday’s announcement, as the club feels this will further prejudice the forthcoming ballot of season pass holders.However, this is now the time for the silent majority to come forward and support the club’s aspirations. Details of the ballot will be released to season pass holders within the next 48 hours.
In news that could have far-reaching implications, the Football Association is set to reject Hull City owner Assem Allam's proposed name change.
According to Paul Kelso of Sky News, Allam's application to change the football club's name to Hull Tigers to make them more commercially appealing for potential sponsors is destined to fail.
The FA released a statement on Monday regarding the decision:
The recommendation, which came after consultation with stakeholders within and outside of the game, will be discussed and voted upon at a full FA Council meeting on 9 April 2014.
Hull City are able to make a further submission to The FA Council in view of the written reasons, which they have received, before the 9 April meeting.
A final decision will be made at that meeting. As such, The FA will be making no further comment at this time.
The FA Membership Committee will recommend that his application is rejected, which could see the businessman follow through on his threat to walk away from the club.
The football and local community would appear to be doing just that, with the news report stating that neither the Premier League, Football League nor fan representatives believed that Allam had made a persuasive enough case for the change.
Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror was one of many who agreed with the decision:
Delighted that @FA made the 100% right call on Hull City. Traditions are important— Martin Lipton (@MartinLipton) March 17, 2014
It's certainly an issue that has put the owner at odds with his club's fans. The official club website is now hullcitytigers.com.
Chief amongst Allam's beliefs is that by pumping many millions into the club, this then gives him the absolute right to do as he would like with the team that has been at the heart of the local community since 1904.
Such a stance was a PR gaffe of epic proportions and can't have endeared him to the very people he is keen to impress.
Dave Lee has suggested a way in which Allam could curry favour with the club's supporters again via his Twitter account:
Best outcome now is if Assem Allam just says he accepts the FA ruling and wants to forget the whole thing. He'd save a lot of face. #hcafc— Dave Lee (@davelee1968) March 17, 2014
It would appear that any threat to walk away was just that. Rick Skelton of the Metro now reports that Allam's son and vice chairman, Ehab Allam, is preparing to poll the club's season ticket holders on the issue.
It's arguable in any event that the club would be more marketable with a change of name.
But a potential FA Cup Final appearance and subsequent worldwide audience would be more far-reaching in a commercial sense than an ill-thought-out name change ever could.