Hull City’s owners have revealed Saturday’s game against Manchester United may be their last as owners.
Hull City supporters attending yesterday’s match versus Manchester United were most likely disappointed with the result, after losing 1-0 due to a late strike from Marcus Rashford. However, the day was not a wash, as the best news of the day for many came in the matchday program.
In a letter to supporters, Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam announced that his family were close to selling the club. The selling of the club brings up some important questions for the Tigers.
The new owners, the Dai family, are property developers who made their fortune on converting bomb shelters into underground malls. They also come into the club having some experience owning a club, Chinese second-division’s Beijing Renhe.
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Although they have no experience in owning English or high profile clubs, they seem more than willing to splash some cash. The Allam family has expressed that the buyer would have to pay at least £100 million. With the introduction of another foreign owner, there will now be 13 top flight foreign owners.
This change of ownership comes as a welcomed change for Hull fans, who have been outspoken against the Allams. Since 2010, the supporters have protested the owners due to their lackluster approach. After a failed attempt to change the club’s name to “Hull Tigers” due to supporter distaste, the club was put up for sale in April 2014. This prolonged sale has caused a long period of transfer market stinginess for Hull.
There has been outspoken annoyance with the Allams, considering their current transfer embargo. Without incoming signings, the Tigers only have 14 senior players. Unable to work with the owner, manager Steve Bruce abruptly resigned this summer. Bruce, an experienced manager, was frustrated that he could not bring in new players for his newly promoted side. The Allams have hesitated to spend money on the team due to the imminent sale, which is common under sale circumstances. However, the sale has been said that it will not go through until after the transfer window slams shut, leaving Hull out in the cold.
Where to go from here?
Caretaker manager Mike Phelan has also expressed his concerns for the lack of transfers. Hull City’s early season has been plagued with injuries, leaving 14 fit senior players. Despite being short-staffed, the Tigers got off to a flying start to this campaign, beating reigning champs Leicester and Swansea. Their first loss of the season did come Saturday to Manchester United. They held Manchester United to 1-0, only conceding in the dying moments of the game. It appears that the only thing Hull lacks is depth, not skill.
Under Steve Bruce, the Tigers were only in the Championship for one season, winning a playoff against Sheffield Wednesday. The next goal for them is to survive until the next transfer window opens in January, where they hope to do some deals under their new owners.
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The strong start to the season helps the cause. If Hull City can go into the back half of the season running on bare bones in a reasonable standing, they could survive the drop back down.
One major question is whether or not Mike Phelan will remain in his position, or if the new owners will bring in a new manager to fulfill the position. Though he is inexperienced in being a manager, he was an assistant to Bruce for years at KCOM Stadium, so it may be in their best interest to keep him.