LONDON: The bid by Hull City owner Assem Allam to change the Premier League club’s name to Hull Tigers is almost certain to be thrown out by the Football Association.
The FA has been advised by its membership committee to reject the club’s pursuit of approval for the plan rebrand themselves from next season, a move that has upset some supporters.
Allam had threatened to sell if he were not allowed to change the 110-year-old name – a stance which will not have assisted his cause.
An FA statement said: “The FA can confirm its Membership Committee met on Wednesday [12 March] and has made a unanimous recommendation to the FA Council to reject Hull City’s request to change their playing name to Hull Tigers from next season.
“The recommendation, which came after consultation with stakeholders within and outside of the game, will be discussed and voted upon at a full FA Council meeting on 9 April, 2014.
“Hull City are able to make a further submission to the FA Council in view of the written reasons, which they have received, before the 9 April meeting.”
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has welcomed the recommendation from the membership committee after submitting evidence to the FA opposing the name change.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSF, said: “This is undoubtedly the right decision and credit should go both to the FA and to Hull City fans, who led a tremendous campaign.
“The fans’ groups and fanzines who came together under the City Till We Die banner have protected their club’s heritage and 110-year-old name with great dignity.
“The FA’s decision should also serve as a warning to other owners that such fundamental changes to a club’s identity should not be made without the support of the fans.”
Egypt-born Allam wants to rebrand the club to appeal to a wider international audience and announced in August that the business which runs the club had already been changed to Hull City Tigers.
The 74-year-old maintained the move would give an “edge” in sponsorship negotiations, because he considers the word City to be “lousy” and “common”.
Earlier this month, Allam’s son, Ehab, who is the club’s vice-chairman, wrote an open letter which also stated that his family had put £74m into the club.
The letter added: “We have nothing left to give, and this is the reason why the club has to become financially self-sustainable.
“Currently there are six teams in the Premier League with ‘City’ in their name, and with the exception of Manchester City, all of those clubs are in a similar league position to us, and playing to similar-sized crowds.
“We need something that makes us stand out from the pool of teams we find ourselves in when it comes to attracting potential international sponsors, who are simply hoping to use the Premier League, and its global audience, to advertise.”
Formed in 1904, Hull first wore black and amber shirts for their maiden Football League campaign the following year. The ‘Tigers’ nickname is thought to have been coined by a Hull Daily Mail reporter in 1905.
Hull moved to their KC Stadium home, which they share with Super League side Hull FC, in 2002, after 56 years at Boothferry Park.