Hull City vice-chairman defends name-change proposal

Ehab Allam, son of owner Assem, publishes an open letter to attempt to explain why the club wish to rebrand as Hull Tigers, citing a need to become more "self-sustainable"
Hull City vice-chairman Ehab Allam has published an open letter in attempt to explain the reasons behind the club's proposed change of name.

Owner Assem Allam, Ehab's father, has previously announced his intention to rebrand the Premier League club as 'Hull Tigers', a move which the 74-year-old feels would make the team more commercially profitable while also improving their reputation globally.

A proposal to change the club's name from next season has been formally submitted to the Football Association but the move has been met with a furious reaction from some supporters, who have formed the 'City Til We Die' group to protest.

Ehab Allam has now moved to further clarify the reasoning behind the decision, stating the family are looking to make the club more "self-sustainable" as they are unable to invest more of their own money.

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The letter, published in the Hull Daily Mail, declared : "With our family having lived in the area for more than 40 years, we decided to invest £24 million of our money to save the club from liquidation, and probably extinction, in 2010.

"Since this point we have invested a further £50m to get the club into the Premier League, a competition in which we will hopefully remain. We have nothing left to give and this is the reason why the club has to become financially self-sustainable.

"For this club to become sustainable we need further investment in the form of increased sponsorships and partnerships and, by utilising the global pull of the Premier League, this is possible.

"Currently there are six teams in the Premier League with 'City' in their name and, with the exception of Manchester City, all of those clubs are in a similar league position to us and playing to similar-sized crowds.

"We need something that makes us stand out from the pool of teams we find ourselves in when it comes to attracting potential international sponsors, who are simply hoping to use the Premier League, and its global audience, to advertise."

Allam reassured fans that Hull would not see a change of kit colour, as has been implemented at Cardiff City.

"We play in black and amber and that will not change," he continued. "The Tiger will continue to be at the heart of our crest and that will also not change. We gave been the Tigers for more than 100 years and it is this rich heritage that will drive the club forward.

"The playing name is the global broadcasting name and is key to achieving our goals. The monies generated are needed to push us forward into becoming an established Premier League team with aspirations of European football."

The vice-chairman also repeated his father's previous warning that they will look to sell the club should the proposal not go ahead.

"We hope the fans understand that we cannot own or run a club where we cannot make the right decisions," he added. "If we were denied the chance to operate the business in a way we feel fit, and that we firmly believe is in the long-term interests of the club and the fans, then we would have no alternative but to offer the club for sale."