Hull City FC chairman Assem Allam has reiterated his intention to change the club's name to Hull Tigers.
His strongly worded dismissal of the fans' group opposition to his plans: "No, no, no, let us establish this, nobody questions my decisions in my business", suggests he will brook no argument.
He states that the 'rebranding' of the name is vital to generate income streams that will provide more funds to support the club going forward. In other words, the £66m he has put into the business to date, needs to be recouped, somehow.
Now, the first reaction of almost every football fan in this country, is to feel repulsed by this blatant disregard for the history and roots of this club, but a bit of introspection is required here, because we may lose sight of the real facts.
Allam wants to make the business more effective, he is being dispassionate and objective, he believes that his ideas will benefit the club in the long run. Is that not what supporters always claim they really want and is it not unreasonable to ask that having invested so much he has a right to make some adjustments?
The argument offered by most fans is that a club's name is sacrosanct, but over half of the professional football teams currently plying their trade in England, have made partial or wholesale changes to their formative names.
In a few generations Hull Tigers will trip of the tongue and only the football historians will recall the days of Hull City Association Football Club.
Change is inevitable, almost essential, ‘adapt or die’ applies to football clubs as it does to any other business.
No fan would expect their team to try and operate in the upper echelons of football with a 1970s approach to training, nutrition, physiotherapy or psychology would they? So why assume that the business side of the club should be any less flexible.
The problem is, we take it for granted that the club is ‘as was’ and always will be, we are creatures of habit and resistant to change, but the reality is that just about every aspect of the club we love has gone through a metamorphosis.
Ask yourself what remains of the club you support, that was there when it was formed: Is the name exactly the same, has the stadium name remained, moreover is it the same stadium?
Are the chairman and board original, what about the players and Manager, are the backroom staff (excepting the tea ladies and kit man, there’s always an Ethel and an Albert) still in place?
Also, is the kit identical, do the scarves and hats carry the same crest or emblem, is the mascot unchanged, do you still use rattles and throw cloth caps in the air when your team scores, does the team play the same formation or style ?
For some teams the most simple question is do you still play in the same town or city? The answer to most questions will be no, so the only issue is that the name change appears radical, because it’s ‘now’, give it another 100 years and Allam will be forgotten, as will the fuss over the name change.
In fact the next big furore will be when Kellogs buy a controlling interest in the club and want to call them Tony’s Tigerrrrs.
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