Established in 1904, Hull City history surely has a lot to say about everything that has been going on all these years.
Hull City Association Football Club is a professional football team located in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.
The team competes in the EFL Championship and hosts its home games at the MKM Stadium, having relocated from Boothferry Park in 2002.
Established in 1904, the club joined the Football League a year later.
After spending time in the Second Division, they faced relegation in 1930 but secured the Third Division North title in 1932–33.
Despite subsequent relegation, they triumphed in the same division in 1948–49, enjoying a seven-season stint in the second tier.
A stretch of twelve seasons in the second tier ended with two relegations in four years by 1981.
Promotion from the Fourth Division occurred in 1982–83, and they reached the finals of the Associate Members’ Cup in 1984.
In 2008, they clinched victory in the play-off final against Bristol City, earning a spot in the Premier League for the first time, one of Hull City honors.
Although facing relegation after two seasons, Hull returned to the top flight in 2012–13.
Their inaugural FA Cup final appearance took place in 2014, where, despite scoring twice early on, they lost 3–2 to Arsenal in extra time.
Relegated again in the following year, Hull made a third return to the Premier League by winning the 2016 play-off final.
However, they faced relegation once more just a year later and dropped to the third tier in 2020.
Hull swiftly secured promotion as League One champions at the conclusion of the 2020–21 season.
A Look at Hull City History of More than a Century
- Full Name: Hull City Association Football Club
- Nicknames: The Tigers
- Year of Formation: 1904
- Place of Origin: Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
- Home Stadium: MKM Stadium
- Owner: Acun Medya
- Chairman: Acun Ilicali
- Manager: Liam Rosenior
- League: EFL Championship
- Market Value: €105.95m
The Start of It All
Established in June 1904, Hull City Association Football Club faced challenges in forming due to the dominance of rugby league in Kingston upon Hull.
The city already had established rugby sides, Hull F.C. and Hull K.R., supported by passionate locals.
While the initial desire for a third team was not strong, support quickly grew.
The club encountered early disruptions, unable to apply for Football League membership for the 1904–05 season, leading to participation only in friendlies.
The first of these friendlies, a 2–2 draw with Notts County on September 1, 1904, drew a substantial crowd of 6,000 at Hull F.C.’s home, the Boulevard.
Their initial competitive football match was in the FA Cup preliminary round, where they drew 3–3 with Stockton on September 17 but were eliminated after a 4–1 loss in the replay on September 22.
Amidst disputes with Boulevard landlords, Hull City temporarily relocated to the Circle, a. cricket ground in West Park.
Hull City history tells us us that after playing 44 friendly fixtures in the previous season, they gained entry into the Football League Second Division for the 1905–06 season.
The league featured notable teams like Manchester United and Chelsea and regional rivals Barnsley, Bradford City, and Leeds City.
Additionally, Grimsby Town, from the southern bank of the Humber Estuary in Lincolnshire, also competed in the Second Division.
Interestingly, Hull and Grimsby were the only two professional teams officially exempt from playing league football on Christmas Day due to the demands of the fish trade.
Hull’s debut in the Second Division resulted in a 4–1 victory over Barnsley, and they concluded the season with a respectable 5th-placed finish.
World War and What Came After
In March 1906, Hull City inaugurated a permanent home ground at Anlaby Road, located just across the road from the cricket ground.
This venue served as the team’s home base until 1939.
Under the guidance of player-manager Ambrose Langley, Hull consistently secured top-half finishes.
Their closest brush with promotion occurred in the 1909–10 season, marking the club’s highest-ever league finish.
Despite finishing level on points with Oldham Athletic, Hull narrowly missed promotion due to goal average, falling short by a mere 0.29 of a goal.
The club maintained a regular presence in the top half of the table until English football was suspended during the First World War.
Unfortunately, Hull City history shows that their momentum waned after the restart in 1919.
The Tigers faced struggles, enduring bottom-half finishes in seven out of the next eleven seasons.
This downward trajectory culminated in relegation to the Third Division North following the 1929–30 season.
Despite this setback, Hull experienced a stroke of luck in the FA Cup during the same season, achieving their greatest result in any cup competition prior to 2014.
In the 1929–30 FA Cup, Hull embarked on an impressive journey, defeating eventual Third Division champions Plymouth Argyle and Second Division champions Blackpool.
The Tigers overcame Manchester City to reach the quarter-finals, where they drew 1–1 with Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
In the home replay, Hull secured a 1–0 victory, propelling them to the semi-finals against Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds.
After a 2–2 draw, the match was replayed at Villa Park in Birmingham four days later, resulting in a 1–0 win for Arsenal, ultimately concluding Hull’s memorable cup run.
Promotions, Triumphs, and Financial Turmoil
Despite the FA Cup excitement, Hull found redemption by securing promotion back to the Second Division in the 1932–33 season.
Under the management of Haydn Green, they clinched their first-ever league title, finishing just 2 points above second-placed Wrexham.
Bill McNaughton played a crucial role in this success, emerging as the league’s top-scorer with an impressive tally of 39 goals.
Following the Second World War, the club relocated to a new venue, Boothferry Park.
In the 1948–49 season, guided by former England international and now player-manager Raich Carter, Hull secured promotion from the Third Division North as champions, a fact regarding Hull City trophies history.
Exhibiting a pattern of moving between the second and third tiers of English football, Hull experienced promotion seasons from the Third Division to the Second Division in 1958–59 and 1965–66, with the latter season seeing them clinch the Third Division title.
Throughout much of the 1960s, the team was under the management of Cliff Britton, who gained cult status among the club’s supporters for notable achievements, particularly the Third Division title win in 1966.
The squad during that year boasted prominent figures such as Jock Davidson, the club’s record appearance-maker; Chris Chilton, the record club goal-scorer, as well as Ken Houghton and a young Ken Wagstaff, among others. It is widely considered one of the best squads in Hull City history.
On August 1, 1970, Hull accomplished a unique feat by becoming the first team in the world to be eliminated from a cup competition on penalties.
They were defeated by Manchester United in the semi-final of the Watney Cup.
In the early 1980s, Hull City found itself in the Fourth Division, facing a financial collapse that led to receivership.
Resurgence and Musical Innovation
In an effort to stabilize the club, Don Robinson assumed the role of chairman. He appointed Colin Appleton as the new manager, both of whom had previously held equivalent positions with non-league Scarborough.
The duo’s leadership bore fruit with a promotion to the Third Division in 1983, spearheaded by a youthful team featuring future England international Brian Marwood, future England manager Steve McClaren, forwards Billy Whitehurst and Les Mutrie, and the Hull-born future captain and club legend, Garreth Roberts.
In February 1983, two devoted City fans, Henry Priestman, adopting the alias Harry Amber, and Mark Herman, going by Mark Black, collaborated under the name Amber and Black to release the song “The Tigers are Back.”
Members of the City squad provided backing vocals for the song, and this creative endeavor aimed to raise funds to cover players’ wages, still impacted by the financial struggles of previous seasons.
Hull City history says that Herman ingeniously reworded the lyrics from Priestman’s previous band Yachts’ song “Out of Luck” to create the new anthem.
The record sleeves and records humorously featured the fictitious record label logo “Don Records” as a tribute to Don Robinson and the made-up issue number “COL001” in honor of Colin Appleton.
After narrowly missing back-to-back promotions in May 1984, Colin Appleton left Hull to become the new manager of Swansea City.
His successor was player-manager Brian Horton, who joined the Tigers during their summer tour of Florida.
The tour included a visit to Walt Disney World and a match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, managed by Rodney Marsh, in the return leg of the Arrow Air Anglo-American Cup.
Managerial Changes and Ownership Shifts
Mark Herman directed and edited a short documentary film of the tour, with Henry Priestman composing its music.
The finished version, titled “A Kick in the Grass,” was released online in 2016.
The 1984–85 season saw Hull City securing promotion under Horton’s leadership, with the young and now experienced squad showcasing both talent and resilience.
Hull’s tenure in the Second Division spanned six years until they faced relegation in 1991 under the management of Terry Dolan.
The club concluded the 1991–92 season in the 14th position in the Third Division, setting the stage for their participation in the newly rebranded Second Division the following season.
Although they narrowly escaped another relegation in their inaugural season in the restructured division, the board maintained confidence in Dolan.
Over the subsequent two seasons, Hull achieved mid-table finishes despite grappling with financial challenges that compelled the sale of pivotal players like Alan Fettis and Dean Windass to stave off winding-up orders.
The culmination of these difficulties materialized in the 1995–96 season, leading to Hull’s relegation to the Third Division.
In 1997, the club underwent a significant transformation as former tennis player David Lloyd assumed ownership.
Dissatisfied with the 17th-place finish under Dolan’s management, Lloyd terminated his contract and brought in Mark Hateley as the new manager, a fact regarding Hull City managers history.
The team’s league performance steadily declined, raising genuine concerns about the possibility of relegation to the Football Conference.
Lloyd’s decision to sell the club in November 1998 to a consortium based in South Yorkshire marked a pivotal moment, although he retained ownership of Boothferry Park.
Hateley’s departure in November 1998, with the club languishing at the foot of the table, prompted the appointment of 34-year-old veteran player Warren Joyce.
Resilience and New Leadership
Under Joyce’s guidance, the team secured safety with games to spare, leading Hull City fans to fondly recall this season as “The Great Escape.”
Despite this remarkable achievement, Joyce’s tenure came to an end in April 2000, making way for the more seasoned Brian Little to take charge.
Even amid challenges such as being briefly locked out of Boothferry Park by bailiffs and facing the looming threat of liquidation, Hull demonstrated resilience and qualified for the Third Division play-offs in the 2000–01 season.
Although they faced disappointment with a semi-final loss to Leyton Orient, a transformative boardroom takeover led by former Leeds United commercial director Adam Pearson alleviated the club’s precarious financial situation.
The fears of closure that once loomed over Hull City were completely dispelled, ushering in a new era for the football club.
The new chairman financed the club for Little to reconstruct the team.
Hull City history lets us know that during the 2001–02 season, Hull held promotion and play-off positions in the Third Division, but Little left two months before the season’s end.
Jan Molby, the club’s first non-British or Irish manager, succeeded him, leading Hull to an 11th-place finish.
In the 2002–03 season, Hull faced numerous defeats under Mølby’s management, leading to his dismissal in October with the team in 19th place.
Peter Taylor became Hull’s new manager, and in December 2002, just two months after his appointment, the team moved to the new KC Stadium after 56 years at Boothferry Park.
The season concluded with Hull securing a 13th-place finish.
Hull achieved Third Division runner-up in 2003–04 and League One runner-up in 2004–05, earning back-to-back promotions to the Championship.
The 2005–06 season marked Hull’s return to the second tier, finishing 18th, 10 points clear of relegation, and achieving their highest league finish in 16 years.
However, Taylor departed for Crystal Palace, and Phil Parkinson from Colchester United took over but was sacked in December 2006 with Hull in the relegation zone.
Phil Brown became caretaker manager and took over permanently in January 2007, guiding Hull out of the relegation zone.
Brown brought back Dean Windass on loan, and his eight goals secured Hull’s Championship status with a 21st-placed finish.
In June 2007, Adam Pearson made the decision to sell the club, handing over control to a consortium led by Paul Duffen.
Pearson expressed that he believed he had taken the club as far as possible and felt the need to relinquish control to attract significant financial backing.
We can see in Hull City history that under the leadership of Paul Duffen and manager Phil Brown, Hull City made a remarkable improvement from their previous relegation battle in the 2006–07 season.
They qualified for the playoffs after finishing third in the season. They emerged victorious, beating Watford 6–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals and securing a 1–0 win against Bristol City in the final on May 24, 2008, at Wembley Stadium.
Dean Windass, a Hull-born club hero, scored the winning goal.
This ascent from the bottom division of the Football League to the top division of English football within five seasons marked the third-fastest achievement of its kind.
Hull City’s Premier League Journey
During the promotion season in 2007–08, the supporters expressed their enthusiasm through a song titled “The City’s on Fire,” released on Myspace by Amber and Black (now stylized as Amber & Black).
This was the first Hull City song since 1983 and was later re-released just before the 2014 FA Cup final.
Entering the Premier League in the 2008–09 season, Hull City, initially considered strong contenders for relegation, defied expectations by securing a 2–1 victory against Fulham on the opening day.
Geovanni, scoring Hull’s first-ever top-flight goal from outside the box, equalized after going 1–0 down within 10 minutes.
Caleb Folan then secured a late win after Craig Fagan capitalized on a defensive mishap by Paul Konchesky.
Hull City history says that despite their promising start and temporarily finding themselves joint-top of the Premier League table on points, Hull’s form did not maintain the early-season highs.
They won only two more games throughout the campaign but managed to secure their top-flight status on the last day of the season, thanks to favorable results elsewhere.
On October 29, 2009, Paul Duffen, the chairman, resigned from his position at the club.
Former chairman Adam Pearson stepped in as his replacement on November 2, 2009.
Following a series of four defeats that left Hull City in the relegation zone, manager Phil Brown was placed on gardening leave on March 15, 2010.
Iain Dowie, the former Crystal Palace, and Charlton boss took over as Brown’s replacement, a move that surprised some supporters who had anticipated a more high-profile appointment.
The confirmation of Hull City’s relegation from the Premier League came on May 3, 2010, after a 2–2 draw at Wigan Athletic.
Managerial Changes and Financial Stability
Both Phil Brown and Iain Dowie had their contracts terminated, and Nigel Pearson from Leicester City was announced as the new manager.
Concerns arose on July 28, 2010, when the Hull City board imposed a reported block on player transfers into the club until outgoing transfers significantly reduced the hefty £39 million-per-year wage bill.
This raised doubts about the new manager’s ability to build a squad capable of making a swift return to the Premier League.
Despite the obstacles, Nigel Pearson orchestrated several transfers and loan signings to strengthen the squad for the upcoming campaign.
On December 16, 2010, Assem Allam assumed ownership of Hull City, pledging to settle club debts and eliminate any risk of financial distress.
Hull City history states that this financial stability enabled the team to invest in new transfers and short-term loans during the January window, with notable additions such as Matty Fryatt from Leicester City for £1.2 million.
The revitalized team achieved a new club record on March 12, 2011, by going unbeaten in 14 away matches, breaking a previous record held for over 50 years.
Unfortunately, this impressive 17-match streak came to an end on the last day of the 2010–11 season when Bristol City defeated Hull 3–0.
On November 15, 2011, Nigel Pearson departed from the club to return to Leicester.
Hull-born club legend Nick Barmby assumed the managerial role, initially as a temporary player-manager and later as the full-time head coach after retiring from professional football in January 2012.
However, Barmby’s tenure came to an end in May 2012 when he was dismissed for publicly criticizing the club’s owners in an interview with a local newspaper.
In the same month, the club terminated its consultancy agreement with Adam Pearson.
Steve Bruce Era: Premier League Return and European Adventures
On June 8, 2012, Steve Bruce was appointed as the manager of Hull City on a three-year deal, a pivotal moment in the club’s history.
Bruce’s impact was immediate as he guided Hull back to the Premier League in his inaugural season as manager during the 2012–13 campaign.
This achievement unfolded dramatically, with Hull securing their promotion by drawing with league champions Cardiff City on the memorable final day, requiring a late goal from Leeds United to hold off Watford from the second position.
In the subsequent season, on April 13, 2014, Hull City reached their first FA Cup Final after a 5–3 victory over Sheffield United in the semi-final at Wembley Stadium.
Regardless of the outcome of the 2013–14 FA Cup, their participation in the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League was confirmed on May 3.
This was due to Everton’s failure to win, which meant Hull’s FA Cup Final opponents, Arsenal, would compete in the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League.
Consequently, Hull entered the Europa League third qualifying round, marking their maiden European campaign, a fact in Hull City history.
The FA Cup final on May 17, 2014, saw Hull take a 2–0 lead within the first ten minutes, thanks to goals from center-backs James Chester and Curtis Davies.
However, they eventually lost 3–2 after extra time.
On July 31, 2014, Hull City embarked on their inaugural European campaign, entering the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
They commenced with a goalless draw against Slovakian side FK AS Trencin, eventually winning the second leg 2–1 a week later.
However, a mishap from goalkeeper Allan McGregor led to a 1–0 defeat away to Belgian team KSC Lokeren in the first leg of the play-off tie on August 21, 2014.
The End of the Steve Bruce Era
Despite securing a 2–1 victory in the second leg at home, applying the away goals rule resulted in the Tigers losing the tie, concluding their first venture into European football.
In March 2015, Steve Bruce extended his tenure with the club by signing a further three-year deal.
The 2014–15 Premier League season ended in relegation for Hull City as they finished 18th with 35 points.
The drop was confirmed after a 0–0 draw at home to Manchester United and fellow relegation contenders Newcastle United beating West Ham United 2–0 to secure their survival.
On October 27, 2015, Hull achieved a notable victory by defeating eventual Premier League champions Leicester City in a penalty shootout, propelling them to their first-ever quarter-final appearance in the Football League Cup.
Later in the season, the Tigers advanced to the Championship play-offs, overcoming Derby County 3–2 on aggregate in the semi-finals.
This set the stage for the final against Sheffield on Wednesday, May 28, 2016, where Hull City secured an immediate return to the Premier League with a 1–0 victory.
Mohamed Diame scored in the second half with a remarkable long-range effort.
On July 22, 2016, Bruce stepped down from his managerial role, citing a reported disagreement with the club’s owners.
Reading Hull City history, we realize that in his place, Mike Phelan assumed the position of caretaker manager.
Steve Bruce’s remarkable four-year tenure as Hull City manager left an indelible mark on the club’s history.
Under his guidance, the team secured two promotions to the Premier League, achieving the highest-ever league finish, an FA Cup final appearance, and European football participation.
Hull City’s Rollercoaster Journey Post-Steve Bruce
By the summer of 2016, discontent among supporters had grown due to various issues related to the Allam family’s ownership, particularly their unsuccessful proposal to rebrand the club as Hull Tigers.
Bruce’s departure exacerbated the situation, coupled with a lack of new signings post-promotion, intensifying calls for the club’s sale.
Despite declining home game attendances as a form of protest against the Allams, on-field performances remained surprisingly strong, notably marked by a memorable opening day victory against reigning Premier League champions Leicester City.
Hull City history depicts that while positive results persisted until September, Hull City’s form deteriorated rapidly.
Despite this, on October 13, 2016, Phelan was named the permanent head coach, only to be dismissed three months later on January 3, 2017, following minimal improvement.
Marco Silva assumed the role two days later, but he couldn’t prevent the club’s relegation at the end of the season.
After relegation, Silva resigned, and on June 9, 2017, Leonid Slutsky was appointed as the new head coach.
However, a string of poor results led to Slutsky’s departure by mutual agreement in December 2017.
Nigel Adkins, former Southampton boss, took over, guiding the team to avoid relegation and secure an 18th-place finish that season.
The subsequent season saw the Tigers initially in the relegation zone after 19 games, but an improvement in form resulted in a 13th-place finish.
Adkins, however, resigned at the end of the season after rejecting a new contract.
On June 21, 2019, Grant McCann assumed the role of head coach on a one-year rolling contract.
During a season affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tigers started strong but faced a downturn.
They lost 16 of their last 20 games, suffering an 8–0 defeat to Wigan Athletic, which stands as the club’s joint-worst league defeat.
Resurgence and Transition in Recent Years
On July 22, 2020, after a 3–0 defeat to Cardiff City, Hull City was relegated to League One, marking the club’s first venture into the third tier of English football in fifteen years.
Despite facing relegation, McCann remained the head coach for the 2020–21 season.
This choice proved successful when, on 24 April 2021, Hull secured promotion back to the Championship with a 2–1 victory against Lincoln City.
A week later, during the campaign’s final day, a 3–1 home win against Wigan Athletic led the Tigers to be crowned League One Champions.
This marked the club’s fourth-ever league title, the first since the triumphant 1965–66 Third Division campaign 55 years prior.
On January 19, 2022, there were extensive negotiations and speculation.
Turkish media mogul Acun Ilıcalı and his company Acun Medya completed the club’s takeover.
This marked the conclusion of the controversial 11-year ownership by the Allam family in Hull City history.
At the time of the takeover announcement, the club occupied the 19th position in the Championship.
On 25 January 2022, manager Grant McCann and his assistant Cliff Byrne departed from the club.
Shota Arveladze was then revealed as the new head coach on 27 January 2022.
Hull secured Championship survival in the 2021–22 season, finishing in the 19th position.
However, on 30 September 2022, Arveladze was dismissed after a series of four league defeats, and Andy Dawson was appointed as interim head coach.
On 3 November 2022, the club announced the appointment of former player Liam Rosenior as the new head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
Regarding Hull City Champions League history, they have never competed at that level.
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Hull City Kit History
Throughout much of the club’s history, Hull has predominantly sported black and amber shirts paired with black shorts.
The origins of Hull’s nickname, The Tigers, can be traced back to these distinctive black and amber colors.
In the club’s inaugural match against Notts County in 1904, there was a deviation as they donned white shirts along with black shorts and socks.
We see in Hull City jersey history that in their debut League season, Hull opted for black and amber striped shirts with black shorts, maintaining this style until the outbreak of the Second World War, excluding the 1935–36 season when bright blue shirts were chosen.
Post-Second World War, Hull temporarily switched to sky blue home shirts for the 1946–47 season but eventually settled on plain amber shirts, a style retained until the early 1960s when they reverted to striped shirts.
The mid-1970s and early 1980s witnessed a fluctuating pattern between plain shirts and stripes.
In the late 1980s, a brief addition of red to the kits occurred, lasting only for a short period.
The early 1990s saw the introduction of two unique “tiger skin” designs, which later gained notoriety and were featured in various articles ranking them among the “worst ever” football kits.
The 1998–99 season brought about an experimental kit featuring cross-fading amber and white stripes, which was met with disapproval.
Moving into the 21st century, the club opted for plain, amber shirts until 2004, when they marked their centenary by adopting a kit reminiscent of the design worn a century earlier.
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Hull City Badge History
In 1935, Hull City introduced its inaugural shirt crest, resembling the well-known three-crowned civic emblem of Kingston upon Hull.
This emblem adorned the bright blue shirts worn during the 1935–36 season.
After that season, the team went crestless until 1947, when a tiger’s head within an amber shield was adopted.
In 1957, a modification occurred, featuring solely the tiger’s head.
Hull City logo history tells us that this design persisted for three years before reverting to a crestless shirt.
In 1971, the tiger’s head made a return to the shirt, remaining in use for a span of four years.
In 1975, the tiger’s head was officially granted as a heraldic badge by the College of Arms to the English Football League for Hull City’s use, described as a “Bengal tiger’s head erased proper.”
Subsequently, the club’s initials, HCAFC, were displayed on the shirt for four years.
Following this period, a crest featuring the tiger’s head, accompanied by the club’s name below, was utilized from 1979 to 1998.
The subsequent crest, in place during Hull’s historic ascent from the fourth tier, showcased the tiger’s head within an amber shield, accompanied by the club’s name and nickname, The Tigers.
The club underwent another crest change in June 2014, but this version received a lukewarm reception from supporters.
Consequently, a supporter-led initiative was initiated to redesign the club crest, concluding at the end of the 2017–18 season.
The new crest, unveiled in February 2019 and effective from the start of the 2019–20 season, retained similarities with the previous design but reintroduced the club name at the top and featured a differently shaped shield.
Hull City Stadiums
Between 1904 and 1905, Hull City held their home matches at the Boulevard.
During this period, Hull utilized the ground under a contract, allowing them usage when not reserved for Rugby League, with an annual cost of £100.
In 1906, Hull constructed their own venue, Anlaby Road.
The threat of a railway line rerouting through the Anlaby Road site led the club to recognize the importance of owning its own ground for future security.
In 1929, they successfully negotiated the acquisition of land between Boothferry Road and North Road, funded by a £3,000 loan from the FA.
Facing financial difficulties, the club experienced a three-year hiatus in any construction activities.
Hull City history states that further delays occurred until 1939 due to the impending threat of war.
A proposal for a new multi-purpose sports stadium temporarily halted the relocation plans in 1939. Still, when this plan fell through, the club decided to resume development, anticipating a move to the new stadium in 1940.
Unfortunately, the outbreak of war disrupted the redevelopment as the site was confiscated by the Home Guard.
During the Second World War, Anlaby Road suffered damage from enemy bombing, incurring repair costs of around £1,000.
Simultaneously, the Cricket Club issued notice to quit, leading to the official termination of the tenancy in 1943.
Hull had to revert to playing at the Boulevard Ground from 1944 to 1945 due to the unsatisfactory state of the planned Boothferry Road stadium.
The newly named Boothferry Park was eventually opened on 31 August 1946.
In 2002, Hull City relocated to the newly constructed KC Stadium, sharing the facility with Hull F.C.
The KC Stadium earned the title of “Best Ground” at the 2006 Football League Awards.
Hull City Rivalries History
Hull City stands out in English football as one of the few clubs without a distinct rival.
While engaging in the Humber Derby with Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United, both located in Lincolnshire, these clubs generally regard each other as primary rivals rather than Hull itself.
As per a 2003 poll, Hull fans identify Leeds United as their main rival among Yorkshire neighbors.
However, this rivalry seems one-sided, given Leeds’ stronger animosities with other clubs such as Bradford City, Huddersfield Town, and Manchester United.
Looking at Hull City history, we can deduce that the club also holds a lesser-known rivalry with Sheffield United, stemming from the events of 1984 when United secured promotion at Hull’s expense.
The teams were tied on points and goal difference, only separated by goals scored, with 33 of them credited to former Hull striker Keith Edwards.
Hull’s final game, crucial for promotion, took place after their rivals had finished their campaigns.
Despite the knowledge that a three-goal victory would ensure promotion, Hull managed only a 2–0 win in front of a crowd that included several United fans, resulting in United’s promotion instead.
Furthermore, Lincoln City and non-league York City are mentioned to consider Hull among their rivals.
The club’s primary hooligan group, dating back to the 1960s, seems to be the Hull City Psychos.
Hull City Mascot History
Hull City, frequently referred to as “The Tigers,” is associated with two mascots representing the club.
The initial mascot, named Roary the Tiger, was introduced during the 1999/00 season following a fan vote that settled on the name ‘Roary.’
Subsequently, Amber, the second mascot, was introduced to complement the duo.
Hull City history says that these mascots are a familiar sight during Hull City’s home matches, often seen patrolling the sidelines.
The club’s traditional home colors, black and amber, mirror the appearance of a tiger, thus inspiring both their nickname and the design of their mascots.
The tiger theme is prominently embraced across the entire club, evidenced by the presence of tiger-themed murals adorning the MKM Stadium.
Changing Their Name
In August 2013, owner Assem Allam declared that the club had re-registered as “Hull City Tigers Ltd” and would be promoted as “Hull City Tigers,” eliminating the “Association Football Club” component present in the name since the club’s establishment in 1904.
Vice-chairman Ehab Allam indicated that “AFC” would persist on the club badge for the 2013–14 season but was subsequently removed.
Responding to this, a Premier League spokesperson clarified, “We have not been informed of a change in the name of the actual club.
They will still be known as Hull City as far as the Premier League is concerned when results or fixtures are published.”
The chairman mentioned plans to further rename the club to “Hull Tigers” by 2014, asserting that in marketing, a shorter name is more potent.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the word “City,” deeming it too “common” and having a “lousy identity” linked to other clubs like Leicester City, Bristol City, and Manchester City.
Allam anticipated that other clubs would follow suit in changing their names to something more captivating, suggesting that if he were the owner of Manchester City, he would rename it “Manchester Hunter.”
Allam justified the proposed name change as part of his strategy to generate additional revenue for the club.
This move followed the Hull City Council’s refusal to sell him the stadium freehold, hindering his plans to develop a sports park on the site.
Hull City history tells us that the council declined the sale to preserve the annual Hull Fair held in the adjacent car park.
Allam expressed disappointment with the collapse of negotiations, stating his intention to invest £30 million in club infrastructure for future self-financing.
Supporters’ Resistance and Club’s Decision
Opposition from supporters’ groups was evident, with expressions of disappointment and disagreement with the name change.
Despite acknowledging Allam’s role in saving the club, some criticized the move as a pointless exercise.
Supporters marched in protest before the first home match of the season, unveiling a banner reading “Hull City AFC: a club, not a brand.”
Allam dismissed fan complaints, stating that nobody questions his decisions in his business.
Amid chants and banners of “City Till We Die,” Allam made controversial comments, stating that supporters could die as soon as they wanted, as long as they left the club for the majority who just wanted to watch good football.
Supporters responded with chants of “We’re Hull City, we’ll die when we want” during a match against Liverpool.
Manager Steve Bruce acknowledged the controversy for creating a fantastic atmosphere but expressed the need to discuss the matter with Allam, emphasizing the significance of history and tradition.
On December 11, 2013, a spokesperson for Hull City announced that the club formally applied to the Football Association to change its name to “Hull Tigers” from the 2014–15 season onwards.
The FA Council, possessing “absolute discretion,” stated the next day that it would undergo a “consultation process” involving stakeholders, including the club’s supporter groups.
Certain experts in branding and marketing have expressed support for the proposed name change.
Expert Opinions and FA’s Decision
Nigel Currie, the director of the sports marketing agency Brand Rapport, acknowledged that the overall handling of the process with supporters was poor but deemed the name change a reasonable idea.
Simon Chadwick, a professor of Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry University Business School, recognized the potential for opening up lucrative markets in shirt sales, merchandise, and broadcast deals as a commercially visionary move.
However, he emphasized the importance of a proper marketing strategy and investment, cautioning that altering the name or shirt color alone might not yield immediate dividends.
David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association in the United States, warned that wise sports club owners should consider their ownership as a public trust, allowing fans more input than what appeared to be permitted in Hull.
On March 17, 2014, the FA membership committee recommended rejecting the name change application at the FA Council meeting on April 9.
In response, the club issued a statement accusing the FA of being “prejudiced” and criticized the committee’s consultation with the City Till We Die opposition group.
Subsequently, the club conducted a ballot of season ticket holders, with questions perceived as “loaded” by opponents of the name change.
Of the 15,033 season ticket holders, 5,874 participated in the vote, with 2,565 in favor of the change, 2,517 against, and 792 choosing the “not too concerned” option.
On April 9, 2014, the FA Council, with a 63.5% majority, rejected the club’s application for a name change.
We read in Hull City history that the club declared its intention to appeal, but since there was no appeal process with the FA and its Council, the decision was deemed final.
On September 11, 2014, Allam confirmed that an appeal had been submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and announced the club’s sale due to the English FA’s decision.
In October 2014, Allam, in an interview with the BBC, asserted that he would not invest any more money in the club unless allowed to change its name to Hull Tigers.
He stated that he had never been a football fan and identified himself as a community fan.
In March 2015, an independent panel appointed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the FA Council’s decision to block the name change “cannot stand” due to a flawed process.
In July 2015, the Football Supporters Federation confirmed that a 70/30 decision favored Hull City A.F.C. not changing their name after an FA vote.
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In the club’s annual report covering the 12 months up to July 31, 2009, Deloitte, the auditors, noted that £4.4 million had been transferred from the club and stadium company to owner Russell Bartlett’s holding companies in the form of loans.
At least £2.9 million of this amount was utilized in the takeover of the club.
Additionally, the audit revealed that the stadium company paid £560,000 to Bartlett’s holding companies as “management fees,” and he was owed at least £1 million personally as a “salary.”
Following Deloitte’s warning, Bartlett provided the club with a £4 million loan, essentially balancing the funds he had withdrawn and injected since taking over.
The football club’s corporate entity, “The Hull City Association Football Club (Tigers) Ltd,” is presently owned by Allamhouse Limited, a private limited-liability company with a share capital of £10 million (as of October 2012), registered in Jersey.
The Allam family, established as the beneficial owners of Allamhouse Limited in 2009, own the company.
On an “Opacity Score” scale of 0 to 100, where zero indicates complete openness and 100 signifies complete secrecy, Christian Aid rated the company owning the club at 87.
As of July 2013, Hull City’s corporate accounts displayed a £25.6 million loss, with revenues of £11 million, after accounting for player and management costs of “just under £23 million.”
The club holds “future tax losses” exceeding £45 million.