Trust lobby FA over Hull City name change

The Trust has submitted an objection to the Football Association to the plans to change Hull City’s name to Hull Tigers. Unlike the shirt rebranding, the FA can overrule a decision of an owner in the event of strong supporter opposition. Our submission is below:

Cardiff City Supporters Trust submission to the F.A.

Proposal to change  the name of Hull City FC

 1.      Introduction

1.1    Established in 2008, Cardiff City Supporters Society Limited (the Trust) is a democratic, not-for-profit group of supporters, committed to giving fans a voice in the decision-making process of the club, and to strengthening the links between Cardiff City and the community it serves.

1.2   The Trust shares the concerns of many supporters at the way football clubs are owned and managed simply as businesses without proper concern for, or involvement by, the wider social and football community. Football is our national game and we forget its roots in communities and its social importance at our peril.

  1. Rebranding – Cardiff City and Hull City

2.1   In June 2012 the owners of Cardiff City FC announced they were going to rebrand the club by changing the colour of the home shirts from the traditional blue to red and by creating a new ‘dragon’ badge instead of the hundred year old ‘Bluebird.’ Fans saw these as radical moves which would alter the identity of one of Wales’s most historic football clubs.

2.2  These changes were announced without any consultation with fans or supporters’ groups. The Trust conducted a poll of its members.  Nine out of ten members said they had not been consulted adequately over the changes.

2.3  The experience at Hull City and the owner’s desire to change the historic name of the club has particular resonance with supporters at Cardiff. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry and the Government and the football authorities’ responses to it all supported the principle that supporters be given the opportunity to play a more active role in the decision making process of their clubs.

  1. Conclusion

3.1   In attempting to change the name of Hull City to Hull Tigers the owner of the Club has shown a disregard for the history and traditions of a proud football club and we believe, of the wider game. Supporters of Hull, as was the case at Cardiff, have been treated solely as paying customers who can simply take or leave their loyalty like moving utilities supplier.

3.2  The Trust believes major changes to the location or identity of a football club should be subject to a formal consultation process, subject to established and pre-agreed standards.

3.3  In order to ensure compliance by clubs, these requirements for specified major changes should be a part of the football authorities’ licensing framework. Any changes implemented by a club without formal consultation should be considered a breach of the licence and sanctions imposed.

3.4  In view of the above we would urge the Football Association to reject the application to change the name of Hull City to Hull Tigers and we would ask you to again consider including safeguards on how such changes are decided in clubs’ licences.