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SBD Global/November 13, 2013/Franchises

Hull City Has $44M Loss In Year Of EPL Promotion; Name Change Challenged

EPL Hull City is expected to announce this week that the club "made a loss in its promotion year to the Premier League" of £27.8M ($44.2M), according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. The figure "principally financed" Manager Steve Bruce's signings and an increased wage bill in the 12 months to July 31. The losses "came before the summer's major signing" of midfielder Tom Huddlestone from Tottenham Hotspur for £5M ($8M). The loss in '12-13 "follows major losses in the two previous years" of Assem Allam's ownership since he took the club over in Dec. '10. Allam said that the Hull City wage bill is now up to around £36M ($57M) a year, and he "intends to buy a striker in January to supplement manager Steve Bruce's squad's chances of staying up this season." This year in the Premier League, he expects the club "will lose" £11M ($17.5M). Allam: "It is a lot of money I have put in, £66 million. So far I am comfortable with it, as long as we are achieving results." However, he said he could not "keep throwing money into it," and needs the club to become self-financing in the Premier League (GUARDIAN, 11/12).

CATCH A TIGER: The BBC reported Allam "has confirmed his long-term intention" to rename the club Hull Tigers. Any plans to alter the club name "would need to be ratified" by the FA. Allam said that he "has to find other income streams for the club as the KC Stadium is owned by the council." The 74-year-old believes a ''Tigers'' brand would be more marketable, having previously said he considers the word 'City' to be "lousy" and "common" (BBC, 11/12). REUTERS' Mike Collett reported angry Hull City fans are hoping that the FA "will block any attempt" by Allam "to change the name of the 109-year-old club to Hull Tigers." Hull fans' group City Til We Die hope said in a statement on its website, "Our group has already had extensive contact with key figures at the FA, and we anticipate they will take a dim view... of this announcement. We remain puzzled that Dr Allam cannot distinguish between the name of his holding company and the football name of the club he owns. Let us be clear - Dr Allam cannot change the football name of the club without approval of the FA, who in turn require consultation with fans" (REUTERS, 11/12).
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