English Championship football club Hull City has today (Friday) issued a statement regarding general-sale tickets for its upcoming match against Sheffield United amid threats of a supporter protest.
The match takes place on February 23 at Hull’s KCOM Stadium, and general-sale tickets have only been made available for fans to purchase today – just seven days before the fixture.
Hull supporters are set to use the match, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, to protest against the Allam family’s ownership of the club.
Vice-chairman Ehab Allam said in a statement earlier this week that the club had received intelligence that some fans would be bringing referees’ whistles to the Sheffield United match to disrupt the game, and the club has considered steps to try and quash any dissent.
In a statement issued today, Hull said: “The club has at its disposal a number of options to mitigate the risk of disruptive action during the game, such as, not putting tickets on general sale and allowing members only to attend the match, as well as relocating fans from the north stand to the upper west stand.
“The club’s preference was NOT to put those measures in place as we need to have faith in fans to act in a reasonable manner, hoping they in turn have the same faith in us agreeing new club branding, concession prices and a re-design of the club’s crest that we are currently undertaking together with the Supporters’ Committee.
“However, we wanted the decision on whether or not we put those measures in place to be made by the fans and as such we asked Supporters’ Committee members to vote on the matter. The committee supported the club and voted unanimously in favour of the match going ahead as normal.”
Hull fans protested at the home match against Nottingham Forest earlier in the season by throwing stress balls onto the pitch during the first half. That match was also broadcast on Sky Sports.
Among the reasons for Hull fans’ frustrations with the club’s owners are a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad, a controversial membership scheme that does not offer concessions for young fans, and the branding and marketing of the club. The owners’ bid to rebrand the club as Hull Tigers was rejected by the Football Association in 2014.
Tickets for the Sheffield United match will go on general sale at 2pm today.
Image: Yorkshire Forward