• Premier League

Fans' fury after Hull City rebranded as 'Tigers'

ESPN staff
August 9, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Hull City Tigers will be more globally appealing, according to the club's owner © Getty Images
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Hull supporters have reacted angrily after owner Assem Allam announced he is rebranding the club, labelling their name of the last 109 years "irrelevant" and "common".

The promoted club will become known as 'Hull City Tigers' in a bid to increase their international appeal.

The East Yorkshire club has been Hull City AFC since it was founded in 1904 but 'AFC' will be dropped and Allem believes he can market them better as 'Hull Tigers'.

The Egypt-born businessman told the Hull Daily Mail: "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.

"In the commercial world, the shorter the name, the better. The more it can spread quickly. It is about identity. City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long."

Vice-chairman Ehab Allam added: "We have dropped the AFC as it is something which has become redundant.

"If anything, we have looked to strengthen our club brand and identity and we have gone back to stripes on the kit for the Tigers this year.

"The identity of the club is the Tigers, the stripes, and the colour scheme of amber and black, which remains. We just feel that, now being on the international stage, we need to strengthen the brand identity."

Bernard Noble of the Hull City Official Supporters' Club said: "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. There will be disappointment but I think people will realise that, going into the Premier League,we want to be a bit different, and he wants to be that bit different to get the business up and running. He's a very, very successful businessman."

Hull blogger Rick Skelton was less forgiving, however. He said: "We are not a major club in England, let alone the world. That won't change with rebranding. So this is a pointless exercise.

"Mr Allam's assertion that the name 'Hull City' is irrelevant, that it's too common, is as disgusting a use of the English language as his new name for the club.

"It's not irrelevant, it's been the name of the club for 109 years and it matters to people. Those people, the fans, have fought to save Hull City numerous times down the years. It's the name of something we love, we've cherished and will be cherished long after the current owners. The saddest part of it all is that this has come at a time when fans should be excited about top flight football, not angry at a ridiculous rebrand.

"And the feeling towards the Allam family - who have done wonderful things for our club and our City - should be one of fondness not fury."

The move comes 12 months after Cardiff City, nicknamed 'the Bluebirds', ditched their blue kit for a red shirt on the orders of their Malaysian owners.

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