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SBD Global/April 10, 2014/Franchises

Football Association Rejects EPL Side Hull City Bid To Change Name To Tigers

The FA said in a statement on Wednesday that it rejected EPL club Hull City’s "controversial bid" to change its name to Hull Tigers, according to Stephen Wood of REUTERS. The FA said on its website, "The FA Council, which is made up of representatives from across football, fully considered the recommendation and the subsequent responses received from Hull City in reaching its decision." The governing body said that "the decision had been carried" with 63.5% support of its members. Egyptian-born businessman Assem Allam bought Hull in Dec. '10 and announced plans late last year "to change the club’s name in a bid to raise its profile overseas." A statement on Hull’s official website on Wednesday said that "the club would not be making any comment on the FA’s decision" (REUTERS, 4/9). The BBC reported Allam, 74, has threatened to sell if he is not allowed to change the 110-year-old name and said that "he will appeal against the decision." Allam: "If it had been the other way round, if the FA had approved it but the fans had said no, I would have severed my ties with the club immediately. But the results mean I owe it to the silent majority to appeal and to fight on." However, "there is no appeal process with the FA and the Council decision is final." Hull "can resubmit next season" if it wants to (BBC, 4/9). In London, Rory Smith wrote Allam "is convinced that becoming Hull Tigers could earn the club as much as £10 million a season in improved sponsorship revenue (LONDON TIMES, 4/10).  In London, Ben Rumsby wrote opponents of a move the Allams claim is vital to boost City’s brand on a global stage were “absolutely delighted” with the verdict on Wednesday. City Till We Die campaign group spokesperson Mark Gretton "reiterated his call for the Allams to drop the matter, although he admitted he would not be surprised if they fought on." He also "hailed Wednesday's verdict as crucial in checking the power of owners to ride roughshod over the traditions of English football clubs." Gretton: "There’s a real feeling of realism from a lot of fans that, 'There but for the grace of good go we'" (TELEGRAPH, 4/9).
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