Hull City AFC fans are campaigning against what appears to be a unilateral decision by the club’s owner, Assem Allam – certainly one made without consultation – to change the club’s name from Hull City AFC to Hull City Tigers. It seems fairly obvious that the word “City” will be jettisoned fairly soon too. Allam has expressed his opinion that it’s “common.”
When county cricket clubs decided to adopt similar names for the limited overs form of the game, the Test Match Special team had a lot of fun speculating on potential monikers for the different counties: the Lancashire Hotpots, Yorkshire Puddings and the Essex Girls spring to mind as being among the better suggestions. Of course, the real names used by the counties were more predictable and prosaic: Lancashire Lightning, Yorkshire Vikings and Essex Eagles, I think. They’ve never caught on in a big way. It’s obvious that the corporate side of football will see that it’s the way to go. Something else to sell, another way to market their product… I’ve already seen Arsenal (Cannons) and Manchester United (Devils) names suggested, only half-jokingly.
I’ve written about the history and traditions of football clubs, including their names before here, but this is just to ask everyone again to support and show solidarity with the supporters of Hull City AFC and sign their statement and petition. They can speak for themselves perfectly eloquently, so I won’t try, but as an example of what they (and potentially all football supporters) are up against, here are a couple of examples as to how quickly the media – The Guardian & ITV in this case – adopts such changes, despite fans’ opposition, only a couple of days after the announcement was made: