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Five Times Football Fans Fought the Power, and Won

We gotta fight the powers that be...

Michael Steele/Getty Images

I watched Rob fold up a big banner and dived through the internet archives. This is a product of that.

Hull City vs. Assem Allam and the Hull Tigers Rebrand

It was a debate that lasted years but in July, the FA rejected Assem Allam's controversial plans to rename Hull City AFC. He claimed that the name ‘City' was common and that Tigers would help brand the club internationally, which angered supporters of the club. Their spell in the premier league, in which they reached the final of the FA Cup but failed to qualify for the Europa league, was turbulent. Not only was this debate roaring, but fines and the banning of Jake Livermore for testing positive for cocaine sometimes overshadowed he achievements on the pitch. Protests attracted media attention and soon, Allam became a pantomime villain.

A ballot was held in April 2014 by the chairman to gage fan opinion the result was surprising, a narrow victory for ‘Yes to Hull Tigers with the Allam family continuing to lead the club'. The margin of the victory was 48 votes, after 5,874 votes were cast. City Till We Die (CTWD), the campaign endorsed by the Hull City Supporters' Trust and the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF), called the vote a ‘sham' due to computer glitches that wiped hundreds of vote and the club turning away fans who wanted to vote in person. The Hull Owner's response was to tell CTWD that they can ‘die as soon as they want'. The FSF hosted their own independent poll, which found 89.8% of Hull City fans to oppose the change.

After he launched his campaign in August 2013, Allam was defeated at a second FA tribunal in July 2015 and was defeated, 70 votes to 30. It is unlikely the club will try a third time as Allam has already offered the club to any appropriate buyer. The FA Membership Committee cited consultations with Hull fans and stakeholders as one of the main reasons behind their decision. The meeting was attended by Malcom Clarke, chairman of the FSF, who claimed that Greg Dyke, chairman of the FA, supported the name change.

After the decision was announced, the Hull City Supporters' Trust said ‘This decision will also be welcomed by fans of other clubs who may be concerned that their clubs might, at some point in the future, face a similar threat.'

Cardiff City vs. Vincent Tan and the Kit Colour Change

In yet another example of overseas owners messing around with the fabric of their club, Vincent Tan oversaw the change of Cardiff City's kit from blue to red. One of the reasons that Tan sited for the change was that red was ‘lucky'. He also changed the crest, making the dragon the focal point.

He, similarly to Allam, was dismissive of the Bluebirds supporters and refused to negotiate.

However, protests trumped Tan's refusal to quit and fans forced him to U-Turn in the middle of a season. After January 2015, the away kit became red and the home kit became blue. The badge was also redesigned. He explained that it was his mother-in-law's Buddhism that inspired him to encourage 'peace, unity and happiness'.

Newcastle United vs. Mike Ashley and the St. James' Park Sponsorship Deal

Mike Ashley's reign at Newcastle has been a turbulent one and it almost reached boiling point after a deal was announced to name Saint James Park after their, then, sponsor, Wonga. This was in addition to the existing tension after Ashley renamed the stadium after Sports Direct, his company. Newcastle have one of the largest and oldest stadiums in the premier league, with a capacity of around 50,000.

The deal was met with an unsurprisingly angry backlash, with fans feeling betrayed that the club's heritage was being ignored. The deal was reversed three days after it was announced. Papa Cisse also protested over affiliations with Wonga as he believed it violated his religious beliefs but after he was spotted in a casino, he gave in.

This allowed fans to get back to the important things, like debating whether it should have an apostrophe or not.

The Hereford United Resurrection

‘Our Greatest Glory Lies Not in Never Having Fallen but in Rising When we Fall'

Hereford were expelled from the conference in 2014 with financial charges, more specifically their £1.3 million debt. It was said that the board could have kept the club in the conference if they had paid a bond. In December 2014, Hereford United were suspended, for one day, from all footballing activity. Andy Lonsdale, the ex-owner, had promised to invest £1 million in the club. Their case reached the High Court and the verdict led to the closure of the club.

The Hereford Unites Supporters' Trust then moved to fill the empty stadium, which was left abandoned and under the control of the council. 4 business men pledged £50,000 to rebuild the club and the new deal, which was approved by popular vote, ensures that the supporters' trust will own at least 50% of the club.

They earned the nickname ‘Phoenix Club'. The quote is pinned on the home dressing room wall, the team currently play in the Southern League.

Bolton Wanderers vs. Quick Quid


For a brief period in 2013, Bolton was set to be sponsored by Quick Quid. A contract was signed and when the deal was announced, a seismic backlash was unleashed. Fans were angry that they were being sponsored by a payday loan company, even the MP weighed in. After a huge deal of public pressure, the deal was cancelled. Phil Gartside said ‘We don't want our commercial relationships to come between us and our community'.

Some argued that fans were wrong to protest as we needed the money and that payday loan companies aren't evil, considering that our previous company was a betting provider we don't have a perfect track record of sponsorship ethics.

Was it right? Feel free to reignite a 2 year old debate in the comments. Did I miss anything off? Leave your thoughts below the line.

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