Football: Hull City owner Allam bent on changing EPL club's name, much to fans' ire

LONDON (AFP) - Hull City owner Assem Allam says he is adamant that he will change the English club's name to Hull Tigers despite opposition from the Premier League side's supporters.

The Egypt-born businessman has changed the company name to Hull City Tigers in order to make the club more marketable, prompting fierce criticism from fans' group City Til We Die.

But Allam told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's up to me. Nobody in the world will decide for me how I run my companies.

"I will never change the colour, I will never change the logo, I will never remove Hull, I will never remove Tigers.

"These words were there for many years. The colour of the club, amber and black, is there. The logo is there. That's for the fans and I will never change this without consulting the fans.

"As for the commercial decisions - my decision. If it is proved that shortening - further shortening - the name by removing 'City' to have 'Hull Tigers' (is beneficial), I will do it."

Asked how he would provide such proof, Allam replied: "By me saying that, and only me. Nobody has the right to ask me how I reach my decision."

In order to change the club's 'playing name', which is separate to the company name, Allam would need to submit an application to the Football Association by April 1 next year.

In a statement, the City Til We Die group said: "Our group has already had extensive contact with key figures at the FA, and we anticipate they will take a dim view both of this announcement and of Dr Allam's rubbishing of our club's proud history at the meeting we had with him last week."

Hull were promoted to the Premier League last year after a three-year absence from the English top flight.

The club's fans hope to avoid a fate similar to that which befell fellow promoted club Cardiff City, whose traditional colours of blue were changed to red in 2012 by Malaysian owner Vincent Tan.