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Hull boss Allam set to speak out


Hull owner Assem Allam will make a statement on the club's future on Thursday

Hull owner Assem Allam will make a statement on the club's future on Thursday

Hull owner Assem Allam will make a statement on the club's future on Thursday

Hull owner Assem Allam will address growing speculation over his future at a press conference on Thursday.

Reports of a significant change at the head of the club have surfaced this week, ranging from rumours of an outright sale to suggestions that the 75-year-old Egyptian is preparing to hand over the chairmanship to son Ehab, who has been acting chief executive since December.

Allam will now address the media at 2pm on Thursday, making a statement "referencing the future of Hull City Tigers".

The very wording of that sentence, in a short press release distributed by the club on Tuesday, suggests Allam is in combative mood.

Allam saved the club from financial disaster when he bought it in 2010 but incurred the wrath of many supporters on last season's return to the Barclays Premier League with his ill-fated plan to change the official name from Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers.

That proposal, intended to attract overseas investment but seen by opponents as a crass and unnecessary break with history, was thrown out by the Football Association Council in April, casting Allam's position into doubt.

He had previously made the issue key to his ongoing involvement with Hull, and once said he would "walk away within 24 hours" if his rebrand was rejected.

Yet with manager Steve Bruce manfully deflecting the off-field furore to lead the side to their first ever FA Cup final and the highest finish in their history, the matter went quiet.

Fans continued with their Allam chants at matches, typically timed at 19:04 minutes to reflect the year the team was founded as Hull City AFC, but his public appearances and talk of departure largely stopped.

Indeed, when Bruce plotted a radical overhaul of the playing staff this summer he found a sympathetic ear in the owner.

The arrivals of Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass and Abel Hernandez all broke the club's previous transfer record, with the latter becoming Hull's first £10million player.

If anything, Allam's commitment appeared to be stronger than ever due to his financial backing of Bruce.

Now there appears to be another chapter to the story, with Allam set to follow his announcement with a rare open session with reporters.

If past experience is anything to go by it could be a fiery event, with the FA, Hull City Council and disgruntled elements of the club's support all among his perceived enemies.

Back on the field, there was encouragement from two of Bruce's deadline day arrivals.

A Hull XI drew 2-2 in a behind-closed-doors friendly against West Brom, with newcomers Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez, both on season long loans at the KC Stadium, on the scoresheet.

PA Media