Although 2,565 supporters backed “Yes to Hull Tigers with the Allam family continuing to lead the club”, according to the club’s website, only 48 fewer voted “No to Hull Tigers”, while a further 792 opted for “I am not too concerned and will continue to support the club either way”.
A club statement read: “Following the ballot of season-card holders, the club can confirm the majority of votes cast are in favour of Hull Tigers with the Allam family continuing to lead the club.
“The ballots were counted independently by Bristol-based company Beyond Dispute, who have worked as independent adjudicators on several votes for the BBC and ITV.”
Hull have portrayed the statistics positively, yet 60% of voters failed to respond and critics of the poll were upset that the name change and continued support of the club hierarchy were inextricably linked. Of the eligible voters only 17% backed the change.
Furthermore, the process may prove academic, with the Football Association expected to endorse its own membership committee’s rejection of the application for change when it announces its decision at its full council meeting on Wednesday.
The membership committee 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 a month ago.
The poll does represent something of a softening from the terraces. When the official supporters club ran one among its members in January, 60% were against the Tigers rebrand.
Crucially, the result may be enough for the Allam family to continue their tenure following previous ultimatums. When the FA’s membership committee ruled last month, Allam reiterated that he would “walk away” from the FA Cup semi-finalists should the decision be upheld on 9 April.
The Egypt-born Allam, a local businessman who bought the club as it stared into a financial abyss four years ago, clarified that he meant that he would put the Premier League club up for sale, not seek immediately to recover his £72m loans and cause Hull difficulties.
The Allams – Ehab Allam is the club’s vice-chairman – argued that dropping the name City, because it is shared with other clubs and therefore “common”, would deliver a major boost in global marketing.
They have been opposed by an alliance of supporters’ groups under the campaign name City Till We Die, who have consistently argued that the club’s name since 1904 is an integral part of its heritage and character and that there was no research to back the idea that “Tigers” would provide a commercial advantage.
In a statement, City Til We Die said: “The truth of the matter is that this result is largely meaningless, either as a true measure of opinions regarding the name change proposal, or the supporters’ desire to see Dr Allam and his son Ehab stay.”