In the world of football there is an immeasurable gulf between the male and female forms of the game, participation, wealth, coverage, league structures and fanbase to name just a few, but in our great City the basic differences between Hull City AFC and Hull City LFC are world’s apart.
It is impossible to directly compare the two in the areas outlined above but in basic terms it is startling what differences there is.
Hull City/Tigers AFC seem to lurch from one disaster to another both on and off the field, whilst the Tigresses are a solid ‘united’ club from leadership at the top all the way down to the loyal vociferous supporters that turn up week in week out.
The Tigers also have loyal vociferous fans but unlike the Tigress fans they are split along distinct battle lines depending on if they are pro Allam or anti Allam. Owners who seem to live by the ‘our way or no way’ mantra which as the holders of the purse strings they are entitled to do, with little or no regard to the consequences.
The animosity that this way of running the club has caused is, detrimental at best and is ripping the club to pieces in front of everyone’s eyes.
Over the last week both the men’s and women’s clubs have launched their new kits, which look strikingly similar in design, with one small difference. Only a small difference but a MASSIVE bugbear to a large number of fans of the men’s side. The Ladies side proudly shows the Tiger emblem AND the team name, yet the men’s version only has the Tiger on.
Ever since the ill fated attempt by the Allam’s to change the name and entire history of the club, they have flown in the face of their team’s loyal fan’s and abandoned the name on their shirts.
A trivial thing to some but to many it is a flagrant disregard to the entire fabric and history of THEIR club, that they have supported forever and will support long after the Allam’s finally sell up.
The men’s side will play only one friendly on home soil before they begin life back in the Championship, home soil in regard it is in Hull, at Craven Park, and yet as with the disastrous membership scheme there is no concession prices.
Surely its not too much to ask to let kids and pensioners in for £5 for example to watch god knows who will turn out. The owners I know will have overheads to cover but how can the average grandad/dad/mum etc find nearly £50 for a family of four for a FRIENDLY, this does not and never will encourage fans to return to the KCOM because quite simply its too much money to justify spending.
Over at Hull University, the Tigresses played their first home friendly last Sunday and it was FREE entry to anyone, and during the season the entrance fee to a match reflects the level of football but is affordable for all, young and old with concessions offered along the way.
I accept that the level of expenditure of each club cannot be compared, but what can be compared and contrasted is that one of our clubs are encouraging fans to attend whilst one seems intent of driving fans away. Fans of the Tigers seem to be secondary to the clubs owners and are treated with contempt whilst the Tigress organisation encourage interaction and connectivity with fans new and old and their support base is growing season on season whilst the men’s support in the stadium is been eroded.
On the playing side the Tigresses don’t have any problem attracting good players to play for them and the skill level and quality of play is improving year on year and it won’t be long before the Tigresses reach the upper echelons of the Women’s pyramid and produce international quality players, but if the Tigers are not careful they could well be on the slippery slope to oblivion very soon.
The Tigresses don’t benefit from any benefactor good or bad and are entirely self funded through sponsorship and have no input, financially or otherwise from the Allam’s but in relative terms seem to be on a much better footing for it.
They may share ‘nearly’ the same name but that is about all they share.
Photo credits: Dave Hare.