Assem Allam rebrands Premier League club as Hull City Tigers

Assem Allam is clearly a fan of tigers. Photo: PA

Hull owner Assem Allam has confirmed the club will be formally renamed Hull City Tigers from the start of the new season.

The move, which runs the risk of stoking resentment among fans, will do away with the Association Football Club (AFC) moniker which has been part of the Yorkshire club's name since their formation in 1904.

Revealing the move in the Hull Daily Mail, Egyptian-born businessman Allam said: "Hull City is irrelevant.

"My dislike for the word 'City' is because it is common.

"City is also associated with Leicester, Bristol, Manchester and many other clubs.

"I don't like being like everyone else. I want the club to be special.

"It is about identity. City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long."

Any references to AFC on club branding are to be phased out, although AFC will remain on the shirt crest during their first season back in the Barclays Premier League, before being removed from the 2014/15 campaign.

According to the Mail's report, Allam wants to market the club as Hull City Tigers locally and Hull Tigers to national and international audiences.

"In the commercial world, the shorter the name, the better. The more it can spread quickly," said Allam, who took over the Tigers in 2010 following their relegation from the top flight and whose investment is credited with saving the club from a significant financial crisis.

"I have always used short names in business. It gives you power in the science in marketing. The shorter, the more powerful the message," he said.

"In Tigers, we have a really strong brand."

Allam's son and vice-chairman Ehab Allam defended the decision to drop AFC from the club's name after 109 years.

"We have dropped the AFC as it is something which has become redundant," he said.

"The identity of the club is the Tigers, the stripes, and the colour scheme of amber and black, which remains.

"We just feel that, now being on the international stage, we need to strengthen the brand identity.

"AFC is redundant, it is not used by the club, the fans never mention AFC, nor do the media.

"We have dropped something that is redundant, that is of no value, and is of no use."

However, Ehab Allam admitted the club could not force people to accept the rebrand.

"People have the right to call the club what they like, it's their club," he said.

"We are not going to fans and saying they all have to refer to us in the same way.

"They call it what they like, we will do the same, but it is for commercial reasons that we are choosing this branding."

Managing director Nick Thompson, meanwhile, sought to quell supporter upset over the change by urging them "to judge it in the fullness of time".

Bernard Noble of the Hull City Official Supporters' Club admitted he was not entirely happy with the rebranding but nevertheless expressed support for Assem Allam.

"My personal opinion is I'm disappointed because I'm a bit of a traditionalist," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But this guy saved us from liquidation and administration and it's his club.

"I will still say 'I'm going to watch City', 'I'm going to watch the Tigers', 'I'm going to watch Hull'. I will still say that and so will many other people.

"As far as Hull City Tigers is concerned, the fans - the 25,000 people who will be there for the first home game against Norwich - they'll say 'I'm off down to watch City'.

"There will be disappointment there but I think we will realise that going into the Premier League we want to be a bit different, and he wants to be that bit different to get the business up and running.

"He's a very, very successful businessman."

Henrywinter_normal

Hull City Tigers? #hcafc owners done many good things but name change shows a lack of respect for fans. It's English, not American football

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Hull City Tigers? Doesn't the owner realise he's ruined trivia question as the only club whose letters in its name can't be coloured in?

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Hello HULL CITY TIGERS!! Welcome to the NFL! Oh no. Hang on. Eh?? #hullfc