Supporters of Hull City have convinced their new Egyptian-born owner Assem Allam not to change the name of the Premier League club – for now.
A group of fans set up the ‘City Till We Die’ campaign in August in an attempt to prevent Allam from rebranding the club as “Hull Tigers”.
Following ongoing disputes between the two parties, a press release by the supporters’ group on Wednesday revealed that the Yorkshire-based businessman has 'promised not to change the name of the club until market research and consultation with fans has been completed'.
Allam reportedly assured the group that he would conduct 'wide-ranging consultation with supporters on the name change proposals before going ahead – should the research show that there are potential benefits'.
“I give my word – I will not change if no benefit,” Allam said, according to the press release sent to GiveMeSport.
Hull’s owner had wanted to change the club’s name for commercial reasons and to strengthen the brand globally in a style reminiscent of American sporting franchises.
In August, he made remarks in the Hull Daily Mail, stating: “‘Hull City’ is irrelevant, the word ‘City’ is common and ‘AFC’ is redundant. It is about identity. City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long.”
Allam infuriated supporters though, with the 'City Till We Die' group suggesting that the club’s owner 'did not exhibit understanding of how supporters view the importance of Hull City AFC’s history or the emotional investment supporters make'.
The 'City Till We Die' group agreed that improving the club’s commercial income is important, but that it must be done without compromising the club’s heritage or discarding its historic 109-year-old name.
The group formed a petition four months ago which currently contains 4,571 signatures, and requires a further 429 to reach its target of 5,000 in an effort to prevent the rebrand.
And supporters will continue their battle with Allam by distributing thousands of 'No To Hull Tigers' badges and 'City Till We Die' scarves, singing 'City Till I Die' at 19.04 minutes into games (the club was founded in 1904) and unveiling a 25-foot wide 'City Till We Die' flag.
Hull, who are currently tenth in the Premier League, are not the only top flight club who have suffered a significant rebrand by new owners.
In June 2012 Cardiff City, traditionally known as the Bluebirds, were rebranded by their new Malaysian owner Vincent Tan, who changed the club’s kit colour from blue to red and logo from a Bluebird to a dragon.
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