Hull City Football Club is to be renamed Hull City Tigers because its owner thinks that “City” is an “irrelevant, common” name. So much football tradition has been overturned in the past 20 years that perhaps the urge to cry “Sacrilege!” should be resisted.
“City” is indeed quite a common appendage in the Premier League. Six of the 20 teams are a “City”, of which Manchester City – by a combination of custom, practice and the prominence of its fans – seems to have claimed “City” for itself. All of which one can see might be a bit galling for a club like Hull.
“Tigers” is at least the club’s nickname, so it has been spared the indignity that befell many a county cricket team some years ago when a new one-day competition brought with it a whole set of largely contrived names such as Kent Spitfires and Somerset Sabres. “Come on you Tigers!” is a cry that retains its validity in the Hull City (as was) stands.
Many a football club has seen the cherished name of its ground replaced by that of a commercial sponsor, Hull – who play at the decidedly unromantic-sounding KC Stadium – being one of them. It’s when that starts happening with teams themselves that we should worry.