History has ended. We have won.
We may not have achieved the ultimate goal of replacing the Allams with a new Srivaddhanaprabha, however all the other goals of the campaign which started with “No To Hull Tigers” have been achieved, more or less.
They have done what we demanded. The stealth rebrand is over. We have a club badge that we like. We are no longer having our favourite players sold (I hope this doesn’t age too quickly). Our club name is visible. Concessions are back. Fan engagement has replaced animosity towards us. Tentatively, it seems like our owners have stopped treating the fans like arseholes.
Even this week, suspicion was that the Allams would overprice the FA Cup tie – yet there was pleasant surprise, perhaps joy, of the pricing structure announced.
It does feel like we are getting our football club back.
Though one thing is missing – a return of the fans.
Firstly, feel free to call me a hypocrite, as I live in London and attend very few games – I’m planning on a 3rd game of the season in March which will be a recent season high, and probably no more. But gone are the times where I plan my visits to Hull to avoid watching Hull City playing, which I have done in recent seasons.
It won’t happen overnight. My own stubbornness is a trait I see across Hull – which is packaged with increased loyalty and honour too, however it does mean there are many people who have promised not to go to the KC until the Allams have gone. Some will eventually crack, perhaps the Chelsea FA Cup tie will sway a few. But I do understand why people want to stick to their word.
Others will have discovered that there are different things to do on a Saturday afternoon like visiting Ferens Art Gallery – others will have made alternative spending commitments and cannot commit to going to watch Hull City just yet.
Just like the reduction of attendances was a slow process, the (hopeful) increase in attendances will be a slow process too – fans will not come back immediately. Patience will be required, and encouragement – not scorn to those who still feel unable to break their word.
We need each other
Sure the Allams need us more now. It is likely no coincidence that they are courting us and our spending power, at the same time that the Premier League funds are no more.
And I’m not for a second suggesting forgiving them for all they have done; trying to change the club’s name, the stealth rebrand, the lies, the animosity towards us and all the actions that very nearly persuaded me to create a new website, The Allam Hall of Shame.
On the flip-side, we actually need owners – we need someone with relatively deep pockets to bankroll our debt. Someone has to pay the bills, including tax bills – something we have history in struggling to pay in the 90’s. The Allams ensure that we continue to be afloat as a business.
The Allams need us. We need the Allams. Effectively, we need us.
I therefore cautiously welcome back the Allams to watching Hull City. This isn’t carte blanche to return to treating us like shit, but hopefully both sides can take this opportunity to rebuild the club, to have a brighter future.
Who knows, we might even make the play-offs this season.