Sunday 15 December 2019

Steve Bruce says it's "business as usual" despite being for sale

Rory Dollard

Manager Steve Bruce has declared "business as usual" at Hull despite owner Assem Allam's revelations that the club has been up for sale since April.

Allam announced on Thursday that he put Hull on the market on April 10, less than a day after the Football Association Council rejected his proposals the rename the team Hull Tigers.

The Egyptian has also set in motion an appeal against that decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and will stay in charge if successful.

That seems to point towards a period of instability at the KC Stadium as both issues rumble on but Bruce insists nothing has changed from a footballing perspective.

The manager has been aware of Allam's moves at every stage and remains convinced that going through with a sale remains a last resort for the outspoken 75-year-old.

"Deep down I know for a fact he doesn't really want to sell it but he feels that passionately about it (the Tigers rebrand) that we have to respect it," said Bruce.

"I think for all of us here nothing has really changed, he's just reiterated his beliefs.

"So for me it's business as usual. It's been hanging around us now for six months.

"There was all sorts of rumours flying around that he'd already sold it and we all know the situation now. Let's get on with playing football and waiting for the CAS decision because I think that's going to be months away from what I can gather."

For Bruce, it all means a second straight season of fighting off-field fires while also keeping the team afloat in the Barclays Premier League.

The Tigers row raged throughout last season, yet Bruce managed to lead the side to a first FA Cup final as well as a best ever league position.

Part of the reason he is able to keep the show on the road may lie in the fact that he finds himself able to see both sides of the argument.

"We're all a little bit wary in this country of change because we're all huge traditionalists and so am I," he said.

"But he (Allam) feels passionately that the club can move forward with a name change and that you have to respect. And of course the one thing we have to do when there is an argument is respect both sides.

"In England we are wary of change, but I never thought 20-odd years ago that the big clubs would break away from the Football League and create the Premier League. I never thought Arsenal would leave Highbury and play at the Emirates.

"It's a difficult situation I find myself in always, but we all want one thing: for the club to get bigger and better and succeed.

I hope the supporters will respect that there is an argument going on and find a middle ground."

Supporters' group City Till We Die, who had led protests against the name change, have made their response to Allam's latest outpourings.

They remain steadfastly against ditching the 110-year-old moniker of Hull City AFC but also respectful of Allam's commitment to financing Bruce's transfer plans.

A statement from the group read: "CTWD is disappointed to learn that Chairman Dr. Allam intends to appeal to the Court Of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"Hull City has enjoyed a period of relative stability since the FA turned down the name change application after a thorough and fair process.

"CTWD continue to support the Allam's ownership of the club. We remain grateful that in 2010 they secured the future of the club when it was uncertain and we appreciate their positive contributions to the club's history in the four years since.

"However we still see no justifiable reason to change the name of a football club that has existed and been a pillar of the local community since 1904 and we know that a significant number of the club's fans agree."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport