Would you mind if Birmingham City FC was renamed Birmingham Bulls?

Do we judge club owners and directors just on how much money they put into or take out of our club? Or do we also care about their respect for our traditions?  

Hull City’s name change has been in the news recently.  The owner, Assem Allam, has said that the word ‘city’ is common and that changing it to ‘tigers’ would make the club more marketable.  He’s opposed by City Till We Die, a group campaigning to protect the historic identity of Hull City AFC, and by Supporters Direct.

One report1 quotes Steve Bruce:

“I can understand [the unhappiness] because in our country especially we are really big traditionalists and a lot of people have supported the club since the year dot, where it has been Hull City AFC.  But the owner has come in and he’s in a different culture and for the money he has put into the club if he thinks Hull Tigers is his way forward then we have to respect it. If he asks us to play in pink and white stripes on Saturday we have to do it because without him there wouldn’t be either a Hull City or a Hull Tigers.”

I’m on the side of the traditionalists and was disappointed to read Bruce’s comment though I can understand he might have felt that he needed to say something like this because of his position as manager of Hull City.  My reply to him would be that football without fans is nothing; there wouldn’t be a Hull City without supporters and their wishes need to be respected too. I am glad that the Football Association will consult fans before considering the owner’s application to change the club’s playing name; I hope that the views of the fans carry more weight than the owner’s money.

I’ve seen various comments on forums about possible name changes for Birmingham City FC.  Some fans have said they wouldn’t care what a new owner named the club as long as he invested a lot of money in it.  Others have said they wouldn’t mind the name being changed to Birmingham Bulls but would oppose some changes to tradition and, for example, wouldn’t want to be called Small Heath Villa or play in claret and blue.

What do you think?

If you are interested in reading more about the Hull City name change, here are some links:

  1. Hull City formally apply to FA for name change to Hull Tigers
  2. FA to consult Hull City fan groups before considering Tigers name change
  3. City till we die campaign
  4. Supporters Direct Statement: Hull City AFC Name Change

6 thoughts on “Would you mind if Birmingham City FC was renamed Birmingham Bulls?

  1. Wingman Blue

    Steve Bruce changed his opinion after he’d said the quote above. Three days later he said he understood the fans frustration at the perceived lack of respect for their traditions (don’t forget the AFC has already gone) and would speak Assam Allam at the first possible moment. I don’t know what the result of that was.
    As for Blues, well, we’ve already lost a lot of pride and support. The very last thing we need now is to lose our brand image as well. ‘Blues’, the blue-and-white strip, and our logo are an integral part of that brand image. Changing any one (or more) aspect of that will not increase our support, rather the reverse. It would disconnect the club from its past traditions and acheivements, and would be akin to the great commercial rebranding disasters of the recent past, like Royal Mail to Consignia, Jif to Cif, and Marathon to Snickers, all three of which threw away (and in the case of Royal Mail had to be hurriedly recovered) successful brand names at great expense and a reduction in future sales.
    I would suggest that Assam Allam is merely taking the City fans for granted, and assuming they’ll turn up whatever he does, and is looking to the far east for profitable sales. A classic example of neglecting your core support whilst chasing a dream.
    To me, it wouldn’t be the same team. Let’s face it, grounds, players and managers come and go. All that remains the same is the name, the badge and the strip. Change that, and you’re already another club.

  2. KiwiBlues

    I agree that some names are more fashionable than others – BUT – with the best will in the world and the best marketing Hull or any other “small” club will only have a limited appeal. The Man U’s, Liverpool etc. have already cornered the international markets for English teams leaving minimal opportunities for others. Birmingham in China springs to mind!

  3. jo King

    Not to put a dampener on anyone, Wingman Blue but we have had 2 name changes already:-
    Small Heath Alliance
    Birmingham
    Birmingham City
    The original Badge was the city’s coat of arms, followed by the BCFC logo then we had the present day badge, then with the kumars “indian colours” incorporated into the badge then back to the present day badge.
    The Strip has changed colours more than once and now changes in design every year.
    http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Birmingham_City/Birmingham_City.htm

    Call us what you like but we are still Brummies and support the blues

  4. Gareth

    Those of us at Britain’s longest standing american football club, Birmingham Bulls, might have an issue!

  5. chris

    The fans are rightly up in arms, but the owner is a self made millionare who made his money in this country then bought the club and paid off it’s massive debt, then invested in the team and all this has cost £70 million so far, BUT as far as i know they are loans, so what happens when he wants to walk away, will they end up like Blues with a debt to pay off and selling all their top players and suffering relegation?
    What if he dies, will the debt die with him or will his son / family / estate or other businesses want that money back asap?
    I would probably side with the fans as owners come and go and leave clubs generally worse off either by the debt they leave, the state of the club / playing staff or by just selling to any pretender willing to pay the prcie, but then they have no money to invest just like G&S did to us.
    As far as i know he is not that rich around £400 million and much of this is probably not cash but tied up in businesses and reports state Hull are still losing money as most teams are living beyond their means. so it seems the £70 million he has put in is nearing his limit.
    When they get relegated and don’t go straight back up what will he name them then?

    “It’s up to me. Nobody in the world will decide for me how I run my companies, certainly not a few hundred people.
    ‘No, no, no. I will not allow that. Let us establish this – nobody questions my decisions in my business”.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2504505/Hull-City-owner-Assem-Allam-hits-fans-group-opposing-ANOTHER-change.html#ixzz2nU1BVIZ2

  6. John Baker

    OK, so ‘money’ got Cardiff into the Prem, but some supporters still show up for games in blue despite their ‘money providers’ insisting on the red kit.

    Cardiff City are the ‘Bluebirds’ and always will be.

    I could by the club and insist the team colours are green . . . but the supporters – the people who really matter – are never going to totally accept such an ‘immoral’ move.

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