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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Assem Allam has reiterated that the changes he has proposed at Hull City would be beneficial and help to make the club a global brand.

Controversial plans to change the club's name to Hull Tigers have been met by fierce opposition, putting a strain on the relationship between owner and fans.

Allam is, however, eager to point out that he has only ever acted in the best interests of the club.

The money he has pumped in has helped to stabilise Hull, allowing them to consolidate back in the Premier League and prepare themselves for an FA Cup final appearance.

Allam expects little in return, but he would like to see disgruntled supporters buy into his vision and acknowledge that change can be positive.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "When I took over, I wasn't even aware of the 'Association Football Club' bit. I put in £27million to protect football for the community, not to maintain the name.

"What, should we have let the club go down to League One but protected the name? That money was to save the sport itself.

"You see, when you are in the Championship, you are a local club. The income from gate receipts represents about 60 per cent of your total income. When you are in the Premier League, that proportion shrinks to seven per cent. The rest of the money comes from television, and TV means the world.

"You don't have a global club and continue behaving in a local manner."

He added: "I am 74, I haven't got too much time left. You need to promote yourself worldwide, very quickly.

"You must think about the future, and the first thing that comes to your mind is the brand name. The shorter it is, the more powerful it becomes: Apple, Google, Twitter. You will never make it if your name is Hull City AFC.

"Do you drop Hull, or City, or Tigers? You drop City. It means nothing.

"I'm not going to be changing our colours, or our logo. The tiger is a very good-looking animal. Very powerful."

While happy to remain at the helm for now, Allam has warned those who continue to question his authority that he will not be held responsible if things turn sour.

He said: "I had a meeting with the fans and I made it clear to them that it will never, ever be, no matter what, that they have the authority and I take the responsibility.

"You can be sentimental as much as you like. But pay for it. Don't be sentimental and ask me to pay."


You surely drop Tigers as it is not part of the current name and has more letters than both Hull & City if you want to be short and snappy.

I get what he's trying to do in make the club more appealing worldwide to help them be more self sustaining but I don't think world markets work this way the way to attract world wide fans is to play good football, cause big upsets against top sides or the quicker route sign some big name players.

How many fans actually call them City anyway? Outside of Hull I imagine everyone just calls them Hull as they are the only team so you don't need to add the City to differentiate between them and another club it's like Newcastle very few people outside of Newcastle would add the United part to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:45 pm 
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Hull City's owners are aware of the need to bolster the ranks this summer as they look to compete on multiple fronts.

A run to the 2014 FA Cup final, where they came unstuck in extra-time against Arsenal, means Hull will be gracing the Europa League next season.

They will also be looking to cement their Premier League standing having successfully avoided a relegation battle in their first campaign back in the big time.

Juggling those commitments will be no easy task, with the likes of Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Swansea City having shown how difficult it can be to find the right mix.

Assem and Ehab Allam acknowledge that Hull will have plenty of hurdles to overcome in 2014/15, but claim it is their intention to ensure that manager Steve Bruce is given the backing he needs in order to avoid any untimely stumbles.

Ehab Allam, the club's acting chief executive, told the Hull Daily Mail: "Europe is a massive thing. It is huge to get into Europe.

"It's really exciting, but you do find a lot of clubs who get into Europe do not perform in the league, so you do need to be careful.

"Although it is exciting to get into Europe, I think it's huge for the club to stay in the Premier League.

"It will be a really difficult situation to manage."

Assem Allam added: "You need to strengthen the squad and increase the numbers of players to cope with the situation.

"We will need to have more youths coming through at U21 level, so you can field a few of them, particularly in the early rounds.

"You effectively need a squad to play in the Premier League, one for the cups and one for Europe. And that means money.

"However, it's a nice problem to have."


It's a tough one because you're only buying players on the assumption of 1 year of European football what happens next season when you're probably not in Europe.

I think the best way to deal with it is to be clever in the loan market get a few extra bodies in on season long loans with 1 or 2 signings and try and promote a few of the academy lads into first team regulars. If you can go into Europe and loan some players who've played Europa League and are used to the demands of a 2 game a week season thats even better.

The current squad will have some experience of the 2 game a week calender from their time in the Championship but it's the travelling on top of that which will be tough to adjust to especially if the draw sends you off to Eastern Europe.

For me you have to respect the competition as this might be the only chance Hull fans get to follow their team abroad for a season it's a fantastic experience and something I'm gutted I've never been able to do with Utd for non football reasons (ironically now I can do it the team isn't in Europe :doh: )

I think most clubs just hope that they can make it through the season of EL football and sink a bit in the league but avoid the drop as Hull will struggle next season imo even if they didn't have Europa League football as everyone has seen them now and I don't think they'll get off to as good a start next season.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Hull City are one of three Premier League clubs who are attempting to sign England international central defender Joleon Lescott.

The 31-year-old has left Manchester City after making only 10 appearances during City's Premier League title-winning campaign.

Hull manager Steve Bruce is keen to bolster the FA Cup finalists ahead of their Europa League bow.

Lescott has 26 caps but last played for his country in March 2013.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:46 pm 
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Hull City have agreed a fee for the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jake Livermore, who spent last season on loan at the KC Stadium. Livermore, 24, was a key player in their first season back in the Premier League and was manager Steve Bruce’s top transfer target this summer.

His form had alerted other top-flight clubs but his effective partnership with his former Spurs team-mate Tom Huddlestone is likely to count in Hull’s favour as they try and tie up the contract details.

A message on the club’s official Twitter feed read: “Hull City can confirm that an undisclosed fee has been agreed with @SpursOfficial for the permanent transfer of Jake Livermore. Personal terms are being discussed and we hope to conclude the deal early next week.”

The FA Cup runners-up did not give details of the agreement with Tottenham, but the price is likely to be around £6.5m, less than Spurs’ original valuation but more than the £5.25m Bruce shelled out for Huddlestone last summer.

Should he sign, and Livermore’s public pronouncements during his time in East Yorkshire suggest he will be more than happy to, it is further evidence of the owner Assem Allam’s financial backing.

Huddlestone was the club’s record signing when he arrived, but Allam sanctioned even bigger deals for the strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic in January, with the pair costing almost £14m between them.

With a Europa League campaign to add to their domestic schedule next term, Hull are in the market for further reinforcements before the season gets under way although a move for the former England defender Joleon Lescott fell apart when he signed for West Brom earlier this week.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Hull City have completed the permanent signing of the midfielder Jake Livermore from Tottenham Hotspur.

The 24-year-old, who spent last season on loan at the KC Stadium, has signed for an undisclosed club record fee, which it is understood could eventually amount to £8m, on a three-year deal.

Livermore told Hull’s website: “I’m delighted to be joining Hull City on a permanent basis. I thoroughly enjoyed my season here on loan and I firmly believe that this club will keep on going from strength to strength. I made my feelings known that I wanted to come here permanently and once the two clubs had agreed the fee, it was very straightforward.”

Livermore arrived on Humberside in August last year after City secured a loan deal with Spurs, and excelled in what proved to be the club’s best top-flight season yet. He made 41 senior appearances as Hull finished in 16th place in their first season back in the top flight and reached the FA Cup final.

The manager Steve Bruce, currently preparing for the club’s first Europa League campaign, has also been linked with a deal for the Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:43 pm 
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Sky Sports understands Hull City have agreed a fee with Norwich for Scotland international Robert Snodgrass.

Snodgrass has one year left on his current deal, and has told the club he will not be signing an extension as he wants to be back in the Premier League.

A number of clubs have been chasing Snodgrass ever since their relegation from the Premier League with the likes of Sunderland, West Brom and Queens Park Rangers all credited with an interest in his services.

However, Hull have stolen a march on their rivals by agreeing a fee with Norwich for the Scotland international as they look to lure him to the KC Stadium.

Snodgrass has now been given the green light to hold talks with Hull as they look to add him to the signing of Jake Livermore from Tottenham.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:56 pm 
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Hull City have announced the signing of Tom Ince on a two-year contract. The 22-year-old winger, son of the former England international Paul, has agreed a two-year deal at the KC Stadium.

Compensation with Blackpool has yet to be sorted out and a tribunal may be necessary if a figure cannot be agreed.

Ince had attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs this summer as well as Internazionale but has opted to become part of Steve Bruce’s squad. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace and scored one goal in eight appearances.

Ince admitted the prospect of working with Bruce was a key factor in his decision to join the Tigers.

He told Sky Sports News: “I’ve known Steve Bruce on a personal and professional level for quite some years, being in a former team with my old man.

“I also know a lot of the players so it felt like home to me. I didn’t feel like a stranger walking into the dressing room, into the ground.

“The staff there, the people on the board, made me feel ever so welcome and sometimes you have to go with your heart.

“To be given an opportunity to play again in the Premier League, it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and one that I’m relishing.”

Ince also feels Hull can look to the future with optimism with the squad they are building.

“You walk in and there’s a strong British core throughout the team,” he said.

“The manager’s bringing in some big names who have Premier League experience and we want to try and build on last season.

“The cup run was fantastic for the club. Now we have to look at having a stronger Premier League position, the Europa League is a fantastic achievement as well.

“There’s a lot going on at the club at the minute and that shows it’s moving in the right direction.”


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:35 pm 
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Sheffield United have caught Hull City unawares by claiming they have “reluctantly” accepted an improved offer for the defender Harry Maguire in one of the more confusing transfers of the summer.

On Monday morning, the Blades released a statement saying that Hull “have finally met United’s valuation for the defender” but the Tigers’ response was one of bewilderment, claiming that no improved offer had been made.

“Sheffield United rejected an offer from the club five days [Wednesday] ago for defender Harry Maguire,” read the Hull statement. “This was the club’s final offer and we have since entered into discussions with other transfer targets.

“In light of Sheffield United’s statement this morning the board will meet with manager Steve Bruce this afternoon to determine whether we now wish to pursue the transfer after the South Yorkshire club’s apparent U-turn.”

United’s earlier version of events explained the lay of the land rather differently, with the managing director, Mal Brannigan, announcing: “We exercised our right to set our own valuation of him and after numerous bids which did not meet our expectations, Hull City increased their offer and we have reluctantly accepted.”

Maguire, a 21-year-old centre-back, made 52 appearances for United last season and the League One side were keen to retain his services.

“We made it clear that we wanted Harry to stay by offering him a new contract at the end of last season, unfortunately he and his representatives chose a different path,” continued Brannigan.

“As we have previously stated, Sheffield United are not under pressure to sell our players but on this occasion it was deemed the best for all parties and now we move on with the aim of assisting Nigel Clough to strengthen his squad.”


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Signed Michael Dawson on a free transfer from Tottenham


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:42 pm 
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(Reuters) - Hull City owner Assem Allam has put the Premier League club up for sale, the businessman said on Thursday.

Allam told a news conference he had put Hull on the market in April, following the Football Association's decision to reject his bid to change the club's name to Hull Tigers.

"Lately there have been a lot of rumours and that is not a good thing, so I decided it was better to have a face-to-face conference and clear the air," Allam was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"We stated earlier this year that the club would be for sale should our attempt to globally promote Hull Tigers as a brand name and as a playing name be blocked.

"As a consequence of the FA decision on 9 April, I announced on 10 April, within 22 hours, that Hull City is for sale."

Allam also said he had launched an appeal against the FA's refusal to sanction his preferred name-change.

"We have begun the appeal against the FA's decision via the Court of Arbitration for Sport," he said.


Not really a surprise but could be bad news for Hull as he's covering the operating losses if he turns off the tap waiting for a sale they might have to sell a few player in January to balance the books.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:31 pm 
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Mike Phelan has been appointed assistant to Hull manager Steve Bruce.

The 52-year-old ex-defender played with Bruce at Manchester United, where he later became assistant to former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I'm extremely pleased to be at this football club," Phelan told the Hull website.

"I'm looking forward to working with Steve and hopefully I can bring with me some of the things I have learnt over the years to help us improve."

Phelan was recently assistant at Norwich City, and replaces Steve Agnew who left Hull to join Middlesbrough in December.

Hull are 18th in the Premier League table, one point from safety. Their next match is at Manchester City on Saturday.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:01 pm 
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Hull City's lawyers are in talks with the Football Association as the Premier League club seeks to conclude a bid to change its name to Hull Tigers.

The FA Council's decision to reject the club's initial application was set aside on Monday.

Hull were told they could bid again for a name change next season; the FA want that bid submitted before 1 April.

Hull believe their original application should be reconsidered following the findings of the arbitration panel.

The club therefore do not intend to go through the process for a second time.

In turn, the FA are adamant they have nothing to consider until a second bid is lodged and are of the belief that the arbitration panel's verdict effectively annuls the original process.

The Premier League club's legal team are now attempting to resolve the impasse after they were told they would need to re-apply in the next fortnight if they want the case to be considered for the 2015-16 season.

Hull owner Assem Allam has put the club up for sale and that will remain the case unless he is successful in his attempt to alter the club's name to Hull Tigers.


I thought this had all gone away


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Relegated Hull City have released six players, including defender Paul McShane and goalkeeper Steve Harper.

McShane, 29 joined the Tigers in August 2009 and made 136 appearances in all competitions while Harper, 40, played 31 times in two seasons with the club.

Also leaving are defenders Joe Dudgeon, 24, Maynor Figueroa, 32, and Liam Rosenior, 30, and striker Yannick Sagbo, 27.

Defender Alex Bruce and midfielder Stephen Quinn have been offered deals.

Bruce, 30, who is the son of Tigers boss Steve, has made 74 league appearances in three seasons, while Republic of Ireland international Quinn, 29, has played 85 league games for the KC Stadium side.

"Regrettably, following relegation, we have made the decision to release the majority of those players whose contracts have expired. We would like to place on record our thanks for the service they have given to the club," manager Bruce told the club website.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:47 pm 
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The Hull City owner, Assem Allam, has failed in his latest attempt to rebrand the club Hull Tigers after the Football Association council rejected the controversial name change application for a second time.

FA council members met at St George’s Park on Saturday to consider a proposal that has caused widespread anger among Hull supporters since Allam floated the idea two years ago. As was the case in April 2014, and following on from the recommendation of a three-man panel from the FA’s membership committee, the council again voted against changing the 111-year-old name of Hull City AFC.

The decision was supported by 69.9% of the council, an increase on the 63.5% who rejected Hull’s application 15 months ago. The FA chairman, Greg Dyke, supported the name change, according to the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) whose chair, Malcolm Clarke, attended the meeting.

A statement released by the FA made no mention of Dyke’s preference but said: “The FA council has rejected Hull City’s application to change their playing name to Hull Tigers. The council’s decision – carried by a 69.9% vote of its members – came after a recommendation from the FA’s Membership Committee. The council, which is made up of representatives from across football, fully considered the recommendation in reaching its decision.”

While the vote will delight many Hull supporters there could be long-term ramifications for a club that was relegated from the Premier League last season. Allam proposed the Hull Tigers rebrand on the basis that it was in the best commercial interests of the club and the surest way of attracting overseas investment.

The businessman, who led a buy-out of the financially troubled club in 2010, has threatened to sell Hull if the name change idea was thwarted. Having challenged the FA council’s initial rejection via an independent arbitration tribunal last year, Hull cannot appeal against Saturday’s decision although the possibility of a third application has not been discounted.

“We will be taking some time away from the club to consider our options and we will make no further comment until we have come to a conclusion,” read a statement released by Hull. Dyke said: “I don’t think Hull can appeal. They could put in a new application to try to change it with better research etcetera and that might change the view, but as of now the Hull application has been rejected.”

Opposition to Hull Tigers was led by the Hull City Supporters’ Trust, who said in a statement they were delighted with the decision and wished “to record our gratitude to the FA for securing the heritage of Hull City and for listening to the supporters of the club.” It added: “This decision will also be welcomed by fans of other clubs who may be concerned that their clubs might, at some point in the future, face a similar threat.”

The trust is to table two motions at the FSF’s annual general meeting next weekend aimed at avoiding similar controversies at other clubs. If passed, the FSF will encourage the FA to tighten its rules on heritage issues “so that a football club’s playing name, badge, colours and so forth cannot be changed without proper consultation with that club’s supporters, and that a club’s media should use only those approved elements in communications and publicity”.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:12 pm 
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The Hull City chairman Assem Allam has labelled the Football Association“amateurs” after the governing body blocked his attempted rebranding of the club for a second time.

Allam wanted to rename the Championship club Hull Tigers believing it would be easier to market the club and bring in increased commercial revenue but his attempts were rejected by the FA Council last month. “It is a sad day that most of the people who make the decisions are amateurs,” Allam told the Sun. “To go global, we need to market ourselves. The shorter the name, the better.

“Look at Google, Apple, Twitter. You don’t go out to the world and say ‘We are Hull City Tigers Association Football Club’. If you do that, expect to fail.”

The FA refused to comment on the matter.

The club’s decision, backed by a 69.9% vote of its members, followed a recommendation of the governing body’s membership committee. The decision was the club’s second unsuccessful bid following an initial rejection in April 2014 - supported by a 63.5% vote of its members.

Allam endured protests from disgruntled fans opposing the change but said he remains popular with the club’s supporters. “Overwhelmingly, they are positive about what I am trying to do,” the 76-year-old Egyptian businessman added.


This coming from the man who made the name longer by adding Tigers to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:03 pm 
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Hull City have signed Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom on a season-long loan deal.

The 19-year-old is the second Gunners youngster to join the Tigers for the 2015-16 season after midfielder Isaac Hayden, 20, also agreed a loan deal.

Akpom has previously had loan spells with Brentford, Coventry City and Nottingham Forest, but failed to score in 21 league appearances.

He could make his debut for Hull in their Championship opener against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Akpom told the club website: "I'm really happy to be here and I'm looking forward to helping the team push for promotion.

"Hopefully we can be successful and I can help with that. We're going to be one of the stronger teams in the Championship."


Heard rumours they enquired about taking James Wilson on loan from Utd as well but it'll be interesting to see how Akpom does playing football for Hull is a very different experience to playing for Arsenal.

I personally think he won't quite make the grade at Arsenal but no doubt there's plenty of talent there he just needs to learn how to apply it in a different environment.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:29 pm 
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Jake Livermore is set to avoid suspension by the Football Association after testing positive for cocaine following a random drug test.

The game’s governing body is expected to confirm that extraordinary, extenuating circumstances persuaded them of the case for leniency after it emerged that the Hull City midfielder had taken the drug while suffering from severe depression prompted by the death of his new-born baby in May 2014.

The 25-year-old failed the test following Hull’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace in April and was immediately suspended by his club pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing which finally took place last week.

It was originally thought that Livermore could be set for the maximum two-year ban which is the customary sanction for professional footballers testing positive for a Class A drug, but the night out during which he took cocaine came only days after the conclusion of an inquest into his baby’s death.

Given the ethical complexities surrounding the case, the FA is understood to have decided that an immediate return to football would offer Livermore and his family the best hope of rebuilding their lives. They may, however, impose a form of “suspended sentence” whereby the former Tottenham player would face severe punishment in the event of any future transgressions.

Hull will not comment until the FA confirms its position but it is believed Steve Bruce is preparing to reintroduce Livermore to Hull’s first-team squad as they seek to ease the disappointment of last spring’s relegation by winning immediate promotion back to the Premier League.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:24 am 
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He should be given every chance IMO.

_________________
pakrooney wrote:

So true mate ...he is consistently inconsistent throughout his united career ..but what if he turns consistent ..he will get around 40 goals...ATM im waiting for that time as his age is 24/25 :wait: ... :|
on Rooney ,Jan 16th, ..and as they rest is history


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:31 pm 
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Hull City boss Steve Bruce believes he "let down" midfielder Jake Livermore, who has avoided a Football Association ban for testing positive for cocaine.

Livermore, 25, failed a drugs test after his newborn son Jake Junior died.

The FA ruled he should not be banned because of "the specific and unique nature of the circumstances".

"I should have realised that he was in trouble and in a dark place, but you carry on and just think he's lost a bit of form," said Bruce, 54.

"I said to my staff on numerous occasions last season that there was something not quite right with Jake, but I didn't identify what it was. I feel like I let him down a little bit."

Bruce told BBC Radio Humberside the club would do "everything we can" to ensure the player gets the help he needs.

Livermore has not played for the club since the 1-0 defeat by Burnley on 9 May, two weeks before the club were relegated back to the Championship.

Former Manchester United defender Bruce does not expect him to return to first-team action for at least three weeks.

The Tigers boss said he was "shocked and angry" at the time of the positive test, but acknowledged he had not known the player's personal circumstances.

"In this macho industry of alpha males, people don't want to ask for help," he said. "Sometimes it takes a bigger man to ask for help and I think Jake has realised that.

"We all think we're Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tarzan and it's not the case."

Bruce said Livermore understands "some people will never forgive him".

He added: "He's made a mistake, he's apologised and he wants to get back to a part of his life which he wants to do - playing professional football."

The former Tottenham player returned to training on Thursday after serving a club and FA suspension pending the outcome of his disciplinary hearing.

Bruce has backed him to have a big impact on Hull's promotion chances.

"He has got a huge part to play between now and the end of the season. His challenge now is to make us better and get us back to the Premier League," he said.

"I'm sure he's determined to get back playing and get back to a level that got him on the edge of England selection. That's what he needs to aspire to again."

Hull, who are second in the Championship after five matches, visit leaders Brighton on Saturday.


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 Post subject: Re: Hull: The Place To Be
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 1:33 pm 
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What a weekend for Steve Bruce. No other manager has led four teams (Hull City and Birmingham City twice each) to promotion out of the Championship – possibly the hardest managerial task in British football. It’s a huge achievement and yet it’ll be one that many in football will all-but ignore in terms of judging his quality as a manager. Saying you’re a fan of Steve is likely to get you laughed at, so those that are tend to keep quiet about it. It seems a little unfair really.

The paranoid ramblings by Alan Pardew and others about English managers having a tough time have, because they were totally unjustified, ironically, damaged the reputation of English managers like Bruce. He’s seen as part of that mob. The moaners, little Englanders and suffocating self-regarders, who never win anything but who seem to think this is someone else’s fault and not their own. Many now see that sort of attitude as a marker for a kind of narrow football brain, so it damages anyone, like Bruce, caught in its shadow. As soon as Curbs or Holloway or ‘Arry start saying how great you are, it ruins your chances of being taken seriously.

But Steve has a nice way about him. He seems very self-effacing and his soft, unadorned voice lacks the blow-hard arrogance of many an over-vaunted English manager.

It probably doesn’t help in the cool or credible stakes that he absolutely does look like he belongs to another era. He is only a year older than me, but even I feel like he looks like your dad after a couple of drinks: a little hot, red-faced and swaying slightly. His appearance and the clothes he wears, down to the unfastened top button with tie loosened, do make him look like he’s a bricky toasting the bride.

And he’s what we can politely call a big unit. The sort of unit that, at times, seems to struggles to support itself in a wholly upright manner. Add in a busted nose and a slightly dazed expression and he’s an easy target for mockery. For many, he doesn’t look cool or sophisticated, so therefore he was must be a bit rubbish.

But let’s get this right: he must, absolutely must be a really very good manager. Getting four teams promoted out of the Championship is a much bigger achievement than anything Sam Allardyce or Alan Pardew has ever done. It’s much bigger and better than merely surviving mid-table in the Premier League. This is his 18th year as a manager of mostly unfashionable, scrag end, boiled potatoes and marrowfat peas football clubs.

There was a lot of flitting around in the early years, so much so that F365 used to call him the Littlest Hobo, and there’s a suspicion that the behind his easy smile and old-school Geordie accent, it’s a case of still waters run deep. Even now he is clearly unsettled at Hull City and was, even just after the play-off win, talking about having to sort things out with the owners. It would surprise no-one if he left the club and joined another recently relegated side and got them promoted next season.

Obviously, Steve isn’t everyone’s idea of a good manager. His tenure at Sunderland was an especially loathsome period of tedium when a lot of money was spent and nothing much gained by doing so. In fact, as soon as he gets a club into the top flight, it all seems to go a bit wonky. His top-flight gigs usually end badly after a long run of terrible form and awful football. Everywhere he’s gone, eventually fans end up against him, feeling he is ineffectual, lumpen and his teams some unpalatable flavour of eye Valium. And he can get you relegated quite easily. No-one likes that.

Even so, Bruce is always on the lips of some English pundit or fellow manager as a prospective England or Manchester United manager. Even this weekend, as Jose Mourinho was installed, Ian Holloway was saying how surprised he was that Bruce wasn’t considered a candidate for the United job. This isn’t hard to rebuff as an argument and such comments are surely not made in all seriousness. But all the same, it’s embarrassing for Bruce to be portrayed as some hard done to, overlooked man. It denigrates his actual achievements.

There is little evidence that SB is a top-notch, top-flight manager – not yet, anyway, but I’m sure he deserves more acclaim than he gets outside of the silliness from Holloway et al. But as a specialist in promotion out of the second tier, he’s peerless. That’s his forte and it’s one he should stick to.

Being a successful lower-league manager is a far greater thing than being a manager who just survives in the top flight, because you’re actually achieving something, rather than trying to make out that 17th position shows how great you are.

So, well done Steve. Top work, fella. But can you dance like Big Sam?


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