If you are a Hull City football fan, there is good news and there is bad news.
Hull City Tigers, previously known as Hull City AFC, was rebranded this month because owner Assem Allamis has a great disdain for the word City. “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. I want the club to be special. It is about identity.”
To say this has come as a bit of a shock to Hull supporters would be a massive understatement. Have a look at some of the Hull supporters’ comments from Pro Soccer Talk: “A consultation with the real owners of the club - the fans - would have been nice. We are going to be ridiculed for this country wide.” Another said, “So the badge on my new away shirt isn’t even going to be the badge of my club in the premiership? Well thanks a lot for wasting my money.”
The good news, as you well know by now, is that Hull City will be back playing in the English Premier League this year after one of the craziest finishes ever in the Championship division saw the Tigers garner one of the automatic promotions by a single point on the last day of the season after a hard-fought draw with league champion Cardiff City.
They’ve done a fair bit of business in the summer transfer window, bolstering their squad with the likes of Jack Livermore and Tom Huddlestone from Tottenham, Danny Graham and Ahmed Elmohamady from Sunderland, Steven Harper from Newcastle, and Maynor Figueroa from Wigan, all of whom should see significant playing time.
The bad news is that the Hull Tigers get to kick off their Premiership campagin with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in two of their first three matches. We are going to find out very early how competitive the Tigers will be this year.
Hull City’s last foray into the Premier League was less than stellar. After qualifying for the promotion play-offs by finishing 3rd, they beat Watford 6-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals and then Bristol City 1-0 in the final at Wembley. However, after an extremely fast start to their Premier League campaign in 2008-09, they slowly slid down the table, winning only two times in the final 29 matches. It was just enough. They started the final match against Manchester United in 17th place and lost 1-0. Luckily for them however, both Newcastle United and Middlesbrough also lost their matches which secured Hull a second Premier League season in 2009-10.
Their seemingly inevitible relegation was confirmed May 3rd of the following year after a 2-2 draw at Wigan.
Hull’s kit is traditionally black and amber, with black shorts, which is where their Tiger nickname originated, although they have occasionally worn dark blue. For much of the 20th century they played in Boothberry Park/Anlaby Road, the final version of which was completed in 1946. Hull City moved into a newly-built KC Stadium in 2002, which by all accounts is a first class facility. Currently the stadium holds 25,500, but there are plans to increase that capacity to a little over 30,000.
If you were to ask a Hull City (Not sure I’ll ever be ready to jump on the “Hull Tigers” bandwagon..) supporter who their main rivals are, most would probably name their Yorkshire neighbours Leeds United. They also have a pretty good go with Sheffield United, Scunthorpe United, and with Grimsby Town.