EPL Hull City "has formally applied" to the FA to change the club's name to Hull Tigers beginning next season, according to the BBC. Hull City Owner Assem Allam wants to rebrand the club to "appeal to a wider international audience." Allam announced in August that the business that runs the club had already been changed to Hull City Tigers. Any application to alter a club's name must be approved by an FA council. The FA said the council would use "absolute discretion" in deciding whether to approve the plan (BBC, 12/11). The BBC also reported Hull City supporters opposed to the club's name change are urging the FA to "protect the heritage and traditions of the sport." The City Till We Die campaign group said it was confident the FA "would make the right decision." In a statement, The City Till We Die said, "This issue matters for all football supporters, not just the people of Hull." The City Till We Die group claimed Allam had "given an assurance that no name change would go ahead without supporter consultation or without the benefits being proven by research," and that no such research or consultation "had taken place" (BBC, 12/12).
The London Irish rugby club has announced that a consortium of London-based Irish businessmen "has completed a takeover of the club," according to the London TELEGRAPH. The group, which is led by President Mick Crossan and has former Exiles captain David Fitzgerald acting as interim exec chairman, has "acquired a major shareholding in the company." The owners have "committed substantial new funds to invest in the new centre of excellence at Hazelwood and to strengthen the professional playing squad." Fitzgerald revealed there are "no plans to move ground from Reading, where they are contracted to stay at the Madejski Stadium until 2025-26." While stating that the club now has access to "substantial funds," Fitzgerald "refused to embark on a spending spree to sign new players" (TELEGRAPH, 12/12).