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Allam accused of blackmail in Hull name swap

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Hull have denied reaching agreement with West Brom on a deal for striker Shane Long. Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Hull have denied reaching agreement with West Brom on a deal for striker Shane Long. Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Hull City owner Assem Allam at the KC Stadium. Picture credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

Hull City owner Assem Allam at the KC Stadium. Picture credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

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Hull have denied reaching agreement with West Brom on a deal for striker Shane Long. Picture credit: David Davies/PA Wire

HULL CITY are set to complete the record signing of Nikica Jelavic from Everton today but doubts remain over the Tigers' hopes of enticing West Brom striker Shane Long to the KC Stadium.

Club officials were completing formalities with Jelavic last night in order to secure a move believed to be worth £6.5million up front with a further £1m due if they go on to avoid relegation.

But the bid for for Long hit a stumbling block with the Baggies rejecting the latest offer from Steve Bruce's men, who had first come close to signing the Republic of Ireland international in September.

Hull chairman Assem Allam said the imminent signing of Jelavic was a statement of intent from the club, insisting: "The club is moving forward. We are paying a lot of money for first-class players."

Yet on the same day Allam warned he will quit the club "within 24 hours" if his controversial move to change the club's name to Hull Tigers does not receive widespread backing.

Allam has been accused of a "crude attempt at blackmail" after he threatened to quit the club within 24 hours if his controversial move to change the club's name to Hull Tigers does not receive FA approval.

The Football Supp-orters' Fede-ration (FSF) is carrying out a poll of Hull fans and will send the results of the survey to the FA, which has to sanction any change to the 'playing name'.

An FSF spokesman said: "This sounds like a rather crude attempt to blackmail the FA.

"Our view is that a club's name is part of the cultural heritage of the club and that it shouldn't be approved by the FA unless it can clearly be shown the majority of the fans agree with it.

"We are polling our Hull City members for their view and we will send the results of that poll to the FA."

The FA Council has to agree to Allam's proposal before a change can take place for next season and FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke has a seat on the council representing fans' groups and Supporters Direct.

Egypt-born businessman Allam says he has lent the club £66million and wants the name change because he believes it will boost the brand, especially abroad.

Allam said: "No one on earth is allowed to question my business decisions.

"I'm here to save the club and manage the club for the benefit of the community. It will never, never be the other way round – that the community manage it for me.

"But if the community say go away, I promise to go away within 24 hours."

Allam added that the same applied should his official application to have the club's name-change to be rejected by the Football Association.


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