The FA Council has today rejected Hull City’s application to change their playing name to Hull Tigers.
The Council’s decision – carried by a 63.5% vote of its members – came after a recommendation from The FA’s Membership Committee.
The Council, which is made up of representatives from across football, fully considered the recommendation and the subsequent responses received from Hull City in reaching its decision.
Sky Sports' Amy Lewis adds that the team can re-apply next year:
63.5% voted against the name change at the FA Council. The club can't appeal but they can try again next season— Amy Lewis (@SkySportsAmy) April 9, 2014
BBC Sport reports that Hull owner Assem Allam plans to appeal the decision:
Hull owner Assem Allam confirms he will launch a formal appeal against the FA Council's verdict to block his proposed club name change.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 9, 2014
Allam spoke more to BBC Sport about the name change:
In December 2013, Hull formally applied to the FA to request approval for the name change ahead of next season. According to BBC Sport, club owner Assem Allam's goal was to make the club appeal to a "wider international audience."
The FA made an official statement on March 17, claiming the association's Membership Committee "made a unanimous recommendation to The FA Council to reject Hull City's request."
In August 2013, Allam confirmed that he changed the name of the business that runs the club to Hull City Tigers. He explained his decision, per BBC Sport:
My dislike for the word 'City' is because it is common. I want the club to be special. It is about identity. 'City' is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long.
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...AFC is redundant, it is not used by the club. The fans never mention AFC, nor do the media.
Unsurprisingly, Allam's plan to re-brand the club was met with disapproval by many supporters, per football writer Richard Sutcliffe on Twitter:
Hull fans against name change launch usual 'City tile we die' chants at 19;04 in the game. #hcafc— Richard Sutcliffe (@RSootyYPSport) March 15, 2014
The decision to reject the proposed name change hardly comes as a surprise given the strong opposition to it. However, it's good news for those Hull City supporters who want to continue cheering for their familiar squad name.
For Allam, the rejection must sting. There's no guarantee that Hull Tigers would have been a more marketable club name, but nonetheless, the 74-year-old owner may never find out.
On the pitch, Hull have struggled in the Premier League this season, but are still within reach of a top-10 finish in the league table. The Tigers will look to conclude the 2013-14 campaign on a high note this spring and aim to avoid relegation. If they can do that, they'll have a shot to bolster their squad this summer in anticipation for another Premier League run next season.
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