FA reject Hull City name change
Published 09/04/2014 | 15:27
Owner Assem Allam's application to change the name of Hull City to Hull Tigers has been rejected, the Football Association has announced.
Allam's plans were met with mutiny and protest over the issue which has overshadowed Hull's season.
Those against the change were boosted three weeks ago when the FA's membership committee said it would give a "unanimous recommendation" for the plan to be rejected.
A recent survey of season ticket holders fell on the side of Allam, with 2,565 backing him compared to 2,517 going against him. There were 9,159 fans who did not vote.
But 63.5 per cent of the FA council voted against the name change.
A FA statement read: "The FA council has today rejected Hull City's application to change their playing name to Hull Tigers.
"The council's decision - carried by a 63.5 per cent vote of its members - came after a recommendation from The FA's membership committee.
"The Council, which is made up of representatives from across football, fully considered the recommendation and the subsequent responses received from Hull City in reaching its decision."
The saga has rumbled on in the background of Hull's successful season which this weekend takes in an FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United at Wembley.
A statement on hullcitytigers.com read: "The club will not be making any comment on the outcome of today's FA meeting.
"Our focus is on supporting Steve Bruce and the team ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final, our first in over 80 years.
"We look forward to seeing you all at Wembley."
Hull fan groups welcomed the decision.
Ian Waterson of City Til We Die told Press Association Sport: "We're delighted that the FA have agree with the fans and the vast majority of people who were against this name change.
"We feel privileged that the FA chose to give the fans a platform to be listened to.
"We were pleased they decided history and heritage were vitally important to a football club.
"We hope, as City Till We Die have said all along, we would respect the FA process and the decision and we hope the club has the good grace to do likewise.
"Quite what course of action he'll take because he can't change the name is a question for the owner. As supporters this is the end of the line for us."
Hull defender Curtis Davies insists he and his team-mates have remained out of the politics.
Speaking before the FA council's decision was announced, Davies said: "It doesn't affect the players, I think any player who said it has would be a liar.
"The name doesn't matter and we wear the tiger on our badge already.
"Cardiff changed their whole brand, from the Bluebirds to the Red Dragons, we're not doing that.
"The chairman just wants to change us to our nickname and I can't see that being as bad, but I do see where the fans are coming from as well."
There are no grounds for appealing the FA council's decision, but a further application could be made in 12 months' time.
Supporters Direct were among those to welcome the decision, but insisted regulations must be changed to ensure a conclusion to such matters.
A spokesman for Supporters Direct said: "We welcome (the FA council's) recognition that Hull's name is intimately connected with the identity of the club.
"However, this is not the end of the process. We have been consistent in saying that The FA must create a democratic, transparent process for consultation in matters such as these, and one that ensures that supporters have the final say on such matters through a binding vote."