For those of you who are not familiar with the European and indeed World Wide game we call football, or to the USA, soccer, its a sport whose popularity increases by the year and has developed an importance to the British nation that is phenomenal. Fueled by money from a satellite TV company the rewards for the clubs in the top tier are huge, both for the players and the clubs. And so most clubs aspire to take part in this league both for the money and the prestige and only a few famous and wealthy clubs tend to be consistent enough to stay in the top flight year after year.
Well the team from my area of England, Yorkshire, are known as the Tigers, because they play in black and amber shirts, sometimes with stripes, but they are otherwise known as Hull City. Now Hull City have languished in the 2nd tier of the football hierarchy since being demoted from the Premiership a few years ago and consequently nearly going bankrupt and out of business due to bad judgements of the previous management. Mediocre players on inflated contracts cost the club a fortune in transfer fees and salaries, so when after a couple of years in the top league things went pear shaped the club was in trouble, big time.
Millions of pounds were squandered and all attempts to remedy the situation failed and bankruptcy loomed. Then a local businessman Assem Allam stepped in and took over and guaranteed Hull City’s debts with multi million pound loans but then did something that didn’t please the supporters. The manager at that point, Nick Barmby, was a local lad made good, he had played for the team previously and this was his first chance at football management. He was sacked, results had been poor overall but he was popular with the fans but he still went.
The Hull City faithful were outraged but the businessmen carried on quietly, appointing a well known manager and former player from Manchester United Steve Bruce to take over whilst Mr Allam continued to make the club a viable business. And on Saturday 4th May 2013 Hull City, after a monumental season and indeed last day of the season miracle, are heading back to the top tier the Premier League. Now unless you are wrapped up in all this football thing its hard to put across how important this is for the area of Hull. The TV exposure alone, usually confined to the top places will now include the Tigers in their reports and of course that could be good or bad but the potential exposure benefits could be huge.
Unless your team is in the Premiership you hardly every get a mention on TV, newspapers or the internet even but now Hull City will come under the spotlight like never before as most of those media pundits are predicting that Hull will go straight back down again at the end of the next season. They may be right but at least this time there won’t be the money problems that nearly drove the club out of business the last time, for the rewards of this league are huge, even after relegation, but at least this time there are proper businessmen to manage things properly.
Well done Hull City on gaining promotion and nearly causing a few heart attacks in the process, lets hope that this stay in the Premiership is long lasting and that a solid foundation can be built for the future of the club at the top level. As the Owner Mr Allam has indicated progress to European competitions, and the extra revenue and exposure, is not out of the question, for a club near extinct not so long ago that is truly amazing.
There is also the hope that this media exposure could result in much needed investment in the Hull area, jobs are much needed so any spin off’s from the footballs teams success would be most welcome. Visiting fans spend money so local shops should benefit as hopefully the local hotels and bars, its an all round win win in the right circumstances it just needs careful handling along the way by people in power, both at the club and the politicians in power.