Should There Be A Truce?

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I’m an optimistic person.  I wrote to the Hull Daily Mail in 1996 arguing that if everyone in the city got behind the club, that we could end up in the Premier League.  I still believe one day that we will be playing Barcelona in Europe.

Alas, as per seemingly fucking usual, my mind is not on football matters.

But I’d still like to be optimistic about the proposed changes to ticket prices from Ehab Allam.  After all, £6 for a junior ticket to a Category C game in zone 1 is excellent value – I was paying £3 as a student in the south stand back in the 1990’s, taking into account inflation, it is a similar price.  This should be welcomed as part of the proposal.

However, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that adult prices are going up at the same time.  Alongside the idea that we apparently now live in China and have a one-child policy, and therefore if you happen to have more than one person qualifying as a junior, you have to pay concession prices for them.  And said junior must go with an full-paying adult – negating the reduction.

The return of concessions for disabled fans and over-65’s should also be hesitantly welcomed.

It does, however, seem a very limited offer.  One that isn’t going to see savings for most families, nor one that really tackles the initial problem of not being able to afford to take your children to the game.  One that increases prices for adults.

It also seems to be a divide and conquer tactic, that we have seen so much of from the Allams.  Maybe it is actually a genuine offer – but my optimistic nature has been so beaten out of me by their previous words and actions, that I am unable to see it as such.  Though if you read the statement, it is quite clear that Ehab is trying to play on the divide by suggesting that those fans that protested are responsible for not only the defeat against Nottingham Forest, but also the two consecutive defeats after.

This is no offer of contrition.  This is another attack on the ‘200-300’ hooligans.

He then states that if he receives a positive response from the fan groups, that he will implement the pricing as per Premier League rules.  So does that mean only 10% of the tickets as per Premier League rules?  Though the most important aspect of that, is that after the Queen’s visit, he can then say that he didn’t receive a positive response (no matter what fan groups say), and your Uncle Wilbert will not be able to get his £6 concession discount – and who’s fault will that be?

Divide and conquer once more.

If there was to be a truce, if Ehab Allam really, really wanted a truce, then not only would there be a whole-hearted approach to the return of concessions, but most importantly, they would start to use the club’s real name on all correspondence.  Were it used on the document for the proposed price changes, or if Ehab had signed off his message to the fans, with HCAFC instead of UTT, then that would be progress.

I also want an apology.  An apology for the continued attacks on the fans, right from the way that we were castigated as hooligans or irrelevants some years ago, to continuing attacks – even in this particular request for an amnesty we were once again attacked.

From past history, the Allams have only one, perhaps two aims from this very limited offer, firstly to continue their attempts at dividing the fans, but in the short-term to avoid protests at the Queen’s visit to the Allam Out Centre Of Medical Studies, or whatever it is called, at Hull University on Thursday.

The protests should therefore not only continue, but be stepped up – lawfully and respectfully (no smoke bombs in pubs please), until there has been genuine progress on all of the following:

  1. An end to the war on fans, and a sincere apology to the fans
  2. A return to using the club’s full name on all literature, letters, the club badge, player’s shirts, social media accounts, merchandise, etc
  3. A concessions policy that doesn’t aim to divide and conquer, that offers true concessions for all young fans – with no increases for adults, no limit to the amount of children you can take, no need for a full-paying adult to accompany them – and yes, with some form of checks to ensure people are not taking the piss out of them (let’s not pretend there were no adults using junior tickets in the past)
  4. Stop lying about attendances
  5. Be transparent about intentions with regards to the sale of the club, transfer policy, repaying the loan, etc
  6. A promise to re-open West Stand Upper permanently once attendances recover

As a fan, I don’t want much.  I just want to be treat with respect, and to follow a football club that others admire – not necessarily on the field, though that is always welcome.  That our most successful period has been often entirely miserable due to the Allam’s war on fans is ever so disappointing.

I’d love a truce.  I’m an optimistic person, and I’d even accept the Allam’s continued reign if there was genuine and generous progress towards a realistic truce that can be accepted.

Yet this proposal is complete bullshit.  This is simply divide and conquer tactics, with no savings for those taking children to the games, and higher prices for adults.  I hope all Hull City fans see through this disgraceful proposal, though I am sure a percentage of those who stand to gain from concessions will take the money and grumble about the protesters.

If I could be there on Thursday to protest at the University Of Hull, I would be.  The 17 year-old Tigers 2000 protester in me from 1997 desperately wants to be there. Alas, work and living in my ivory tower in London (really a damp mud-hut on the outskirts) mean I cannot.  I’ll be back on Saturday for the game, ready to embarrass my concession-desiring parents with my hooliganism.  Anyone got a poster they can send me?

Let’s finish on a positive note.  Apart from that early errant back-pass, just how assured did Harry Maguire look last night for England?  Ahhhh.  If only.  I will live to see a day when an England player is also a current Hull City player.

And I will live to see a day where the Allams are no longer in charge.

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