Hull City owner Assem Allam threatens to walk away from club over Tigers name change as Nikica Jelavic joins from Everton
Supporters are resolutely against changing the club's name
Tuesday 14 January 2014
On the day he again broke Hull City's transfer record to sign Nikica Jelavic, owner Assem Allam threatened to walk away from the club "in 24 hours" if the Football Association blocks him from changing the name to Hull Tigers.
Allam wants to drop "City" from the 109-year-old name and rebrand his Premier League club, but the idea has been met by fierce opposition from supporters.
"No one on earth is allowed to question my business decisions – I won't allow it," Allam said. "And I'll give you my CV to give you comfort and show you what I have achieved. I'm here to save the club and manage the club for the benefit of the community – it will never, ever be the other way around. But the community can say 'go away', and I will go within 24 hours."
When asked what would happen if the FA said he could not change the club's name, the 74-year-old Egyptian-born businessman, who bought Hull in December 2010, said: "The same thing. It's a free country. There are no two ways about it – I have never said something and then gone back on it."
Hull were completing the formalities for the record signing of Jelavic from Everton in a deal believed to be worth £6.5m, with a further £1m due if the Tigers avoid relegation – eclipsing the club's previous biggest outlay of £5.25m for Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone last year.
Allam is also pursuing long-term target Shane Long – although it is understood West Bromwich have rejected the latest bid to lure him from The Hawthorns.
Stephen Ireland has agreed a permanent move to Stoke City as the club also announced the arrival of striker John Guidetti on loan and closed in on the signing of 21-year-old United States forward Juan Agudelo.
Ireland was on a season-long loan from Aston Villa but Stoke said the deal had now been made permanent. The midfielder's transfer allowed Stoke manager Mark Hughes to bring in Guidetti, a promising 21-year-old Manchester City striker, for the rest of the season. Ireland played for City under Hughes before joining Aston Villa in August 2010.
Guidetti is determined finally to hit the heights in the Premier League after overcoming the frustrations of being laid low by a mystery virus. Signed by Manchester City as a promising 16-year-old, Guidetti's path to stardom has been a bumpy one as injuries and illnesses have dogged him along the way.
A stunning loan spell with Feyenoord in 2011-12, in which he scored 20 goals in 23 Eredivisie appearances – including three consecutive home hat-tricks – suggested his time had arrived. That was until the virus hit, one that left him without any feeling in his right leg, and was finally diagnosed as a nerve issue.
The Sweden international was sidelined for almost a year, only returning to training with City last summer.
Agudelo, capped 17 times by the United States, had been a free agent since his contract with the New England Revolution expired.
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Wigan striker Grant Holt on loan for the rest of the season. The 32-year-old is reunited with manager Paul Lambert, who was in charge at Norwich when Holt scored 53 goals in 92 games.
Holt has scored just twice since swapping Carrow Road for the DW Stadium last summer and has not found the net since August.
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