1997-2000: Saved? and Future Prospects
Feature by Historian
Updated Wednesday, 2nd January 2002
In the summer of 1997 ownership of the club again changed hands.
By Christmas 1998 they were six points adrift. The appointment of Warren Joyce as a replacement for Mark Hateley was to prove an inspired move. A combination of his leadership and astute purchases of players saw the Tigers move away from the bottom of the League and live to fight another day. An achievement dubbed "The Great Escape" by fans and media.
Joyce, however, was not able to carry over the momentum from the end of the 1998-99 season into the next season. This was despite the addition of seven new players over the summer and two Jamacian internationals, Theodore Whitmore and Ian Goodison, after the start of the season. The team never managed to achieve any consistency or spark and were unable to rise above 14th. This failure resulted in Joyce's sacking by a board impatient to achieve success.
Off the field matters have dominated the closed season with a high profile dispute and eviction battle with former owner, David Lloyd over rent owed for the ground which is still under his ownership. An agreement has now been reached. The other major announcement is the settling of the club's ownership with controversial majority shareholder, Stephen Hinchliffe selling his holding to current Chairman, Nick Buchanan.
There is much promise for the future as we approach the start of a new Millenium in the potential move to the Hull Super Stadium and Brian Little's experience and skilled management to look forward to. As well as the ongoing financial struggle and disputes between Directors.
One thing is for sure - it will never be boring...