England Legend Hits Out At Ashley And Allanm 'Ego Trip'!

Last updated : 15 December 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor


The Football Association seemed terribly keen on history as they spent the whole of this year celebrating their 150th anniversary.

So how about they now go and prove their dedication to the heritage of the game?

First by turning down the application of Hull City owner Assem Allam to change the club’s name to Hull Tigers.

And then by putting preservation orders on the names of our football clubs and their grounds, and the colour of their first-choice kits.

If I own a listed building, I cannot go and destroy its key features.

And our football clubs are every bit as important to the country’s culture.

Allam seems to be just another businessman on an ego trip.

But why you would wish to buy a club and deliberately antagonise supporters by changing its name is beyond me.

Allam’s argument is that fans in Asia and elsewhere will be more attracted to Hull if they are known as Tigers rather than City.

Yet I feel sure that those who follow our football in far-flung parts of the globe tend to do so largely because of history and tradition.

They know this is the country that invented the game, as the FA have rightly been proud of pointing out during their anniversary year.

Hull City belongs to the generations of supporters who have followed them through thick and thin for a century.

It doesn’t belong to Allam – he is just passing through. And though he may have invested £70million in the club, he can go on and recoup more if they become established in the top flight.

Football has changed beyond recognition since my playing days. All-seater stadiums, crowd segregation, the re-naming of all the leagues, a majority of foreign players who are never going to become part of the fabric of a club in the same way as a Tom Finney or a Bobby Charlton.

Change is inevitable but not always for the better.

I’m unashamed about being old-fashioned about certain things. Likewise, the FA should not be afraid of being conservative with a small ‘c’.

The Premier League is a great modernising force and an awesome money-making machine.

But sometimes it is the FA’s job to put the brakes on.

It is not just the Hull Tigers proposal either.

Cardiff’s change of home kit from blue to red and Mike Ashley’s provoactive decision to rename St James’ Park something unprintable advertising his sportswear firm are equally inflammatory.