Recent events have almost made the struggles of supporting a football club run by Ehab Allam seem rather frivolous. Yet the Allams still own us and the football season will start again at some point – be it this year or next year. At some point we might even have a 30%-full stadium again.
This is going to be a light-hearted post – I am just a bloke with a Hull City blog – I can do attempts at humour, I can do criticism of Ehab Allam, I can do rants about hoofing. I am not here to give serious critiques of government policy, expert advice on epidemiology (wow didn’t need a spellchecker) or insist that lockdown strategy was obvious back in January.
So if you cannot cope with something light-hearted in the middle of a crisis, please hit the close button and go back to advising the government on what steps they should have taken weeks ago.
I would also like to offer a note of condolence for anyone who has lost someone close to them during the Coronavirus crisis. Difficult enough at the best of times – the strain that this crisis has put on all of us makes it impossible for me to understand how to cope with the loss of a loved one under the current strictures.
Looking Back To Look Ahead
Imagine if the Championship is cancelled in the coming weeks. I am sure that many fellow Hull City fans would celebrate our surviving what had become an almost inevitable relegation – and Leeds possibly also not achieving promotion, depending on what was agreed.
I still insist that is the wrong decision as I argued in a previous post – this season should be finished no matter when that happens, be it June, December or even 2021.
However, imagine if Ehab Allam had not had the foresight back in summer to reject Nigel Adkin’s request for investment.
Imagine if we were sat in the play-offs, Bowen and Grosicki still with us in the hope of getting promoted, Ehab Allam having been persuaded to part with £10m in a bid to get back to the Premier League – having invested in some quality defenders and a top-notch keeper.
Money wasted, effort wasted, hope wasted. It really would have been #TypicalCity for potential promotion to have been scuppered by a pandemic.
Yet Ehab Allam had the foresight to not invest in the club, to not invest in quality Championship players, to not invest in the future of this football club. He was prepared for the pandemic.
Sell, sell, sell
We could have kept Bowed and Grosicki in January and let their respective contracts run out.
Yet at this point, the virus was causing chaos across China, parts of Asia and the first reports were occurring in Europe.
The day that we sold Jarrod Bowen, 31st January, was also the date of the first reports of Coronavirus in this country. At the time I thought that we could have sold both of them for more money, but given the possibility of very little football over the next year, and the likely devaluation in transfer fees going forwards, it seems that Ehab Allam might finally, at approximately the 229th attempt, managed a good deal for Hull City.
The Dream Of New Owners
I did used to dream of new owners. I long stopped dreaming of such – I even started writing a Kickstarter one drunken evening to try to raise £50m to buy the club.
Allow yourself a moment to imagine that we had new owners. Not especially rich owners – perhaps even some fan-led consortium.
Relying on ticket sales for our income – the replacement of the Allams meaning a full stadium, merchandise sales were up, people were actually having a beer and a vegan pie before the game. The good times were back – we even had a decent defence.
Yet the new owners, as nice as they were, didn’t have deep pockets. They relied on a credit line from the banks. Coronavirus hits, football is cancelled – we’d be in the shit, 90’s style. Martin Fish style.
I am not short of a criticism or hundred of Ehab Allam and his management of our football club. But I am a little more reassured of our survival as a football club under owners with deep enough pockets to pay themselves a £3.8m dividend, than many other owners using credit lines from banks to fund themselves.
Best Run Club?
It almost has seemed at times in the past that Ehab Allam has been planning for the football season to be cancelled. You could even suggest that the infamous preseason photograph some years ago was him preparing for there being no football.
Best run football club in the league?
Certainly you could argue that Ehab Allam is running the best prepared football club for a pandemic in the league.