Hull chairman 'proud' of promoted Tigers after emotional final day
Assem Allam reflects on emotional promotion to top flight just two years after saving club
Sunday 05 May 2013
Following promotion to the Barclays Premier League, Hull City chairman Assem Allam feels that the club can be proud of what they have achieved since he took over two years ago.
The Tigers secured a nervy 2-2 draw against npower Championship title winners Cardiff which saw two penalties given in second half stoppage time. Having missed their own penalty through Nick Proschwitz’s saved effort, an Abdoulaye Faye handball gifted Nicky Maynard the chance to score from the spot and ensure attentions would turn to Vicarage Road for the full time result.
But Watford could not get the win they needed for automatic promotion, instead conceding late-on to go down 2-1 to Leeds United, meaning Hull were promoted three years after they were relegated.
And chairman Allam feels they have much to be happy about, having saved the club from a winding-up order to lead them back to the top flight.
"It was fantastic, one of the proudest days of my life," the Egyptian told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.
"It was very stressful but at the same time, when we had four or five minutes left, Watford needed to score two goals to be promoted so that gave us a bit of comfort."
It hasn’t come cheaply for Allam, who admitted that despite the hefty personal costs he suffered, it was all worth it for the sake of the club.
"I bought the club in December 2010 four days before the winding up, so it was a case of saving the club, and in two and a half years of my ownership, we've gone from what would have been bankruptcy to the Premier League.
"To save the club from bankruptcy is what I call dead money, money I would have saved by waiting four days to buy the club from the receivers.
"I would have saved £27million in money owed to the taxman, who enforced the winding-up order, and two banks.
"But then the club would have lost 10 points, they would have been relegated and this would have cost more and I didn't want this, for the community to be deprived of good quality football.
"So I signed a contract knowing that I'm throwing away £27million for the sake of staying in the Championship."
Tigers’ fans can now look forward to trips to stadiums such as Old Trafford, the Etihad and Stamford Bridge, but Allam admits that little thought has gone towards next season in terms of how much investment will be made in the squad.
"It's very difficult to give you an amount (to invest) because we - the manager Steve Bruce, myself and the chief executive - have been very busy concentrating on achieving what we wanted to achieve this season.
"So we will start discussing that next week with the manager, and the team and Hull City and we'll start looking at what to do next year."
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