What's The Point?

Last updated : 15 February 2002 By Tigers Co-operative

What's the point of the Tigers Co-operative? You might ask that question. There is no crisis. Not playing consistently well but still being in the top six of the Third Division is not really a crisis. Well, not on the same scale as being in the hands of administrators and staring oblivion in the face.

So, why do we still need an independent supporters association? The answer to that, especially the independent bit, lies in the history of Hull City Football Club. There used to be an official supporters club but that withered and died. How many of you would have joined either a David Lloyd or Buchanan-Hinchliffe sponsored fan club?

Our new owner could not be more different. In fact, it would be difficult to find anyone with a bad word to say about how Adam Pearson has gone about things. It does not bear thinking about the state the club would be in if Adam had not come along. However, the day will come when someone else will be at the helm, and who knows what they will be like. We can only look to our past experiences or cast a glance at other clubs for a shudder to go down the spine.

The simple truth is that whoever takes the reins at Hull City is only there temporarily and will eventually move on. That is the nature of things.

However, the fans, like the football club, go on. We will still be there. The Co-operative has shown that it can be an effective voice of the fans. It is a democratic body. The degree of support by its members is proven by the number of membership renewals. The total is now three times greater than before last year's crisis, and is increasing every week.

The Co-op is the only body representing the views of a large number of fans. The fanzines have their independent voice but cannot demonstrate having the broad base of support enjoyed by the Co-op.

The fans are the main source of a club's income, no matter what league it may be playing in. We are the consumers and the consumer is king. In that position we have three rights: the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn.

The Co-operative holds regular meetings with Adam. We have found him very honest and certainly more forthcoming than any previous regime in telling us what is happening. We cannot and do not expect to know everything. In the world of business, and football is big business, that would be unrealistic. For instance, he was more than happy to work with us in jointly organising
the recent Fans' Forum.

The Co-op does all it can to encourage the Club. We are not a protest group. We have spoken out many times in this column and elsewhere against those groups of individuals who seem hell bent on causing trouble. They are not true fans. More importantly they are not us.

As such a large independent body we have the ability to provide the club with important feedback from our members in a way that perhaps an official supporters club could not. Would you join a trade union run by your boss? The freedom borne of our independence ensures that this feedback retains its cutting edge at all times.

However, the Tigers Co-op is not just a fan club, it is also a fans' club working on behalf of both the football club and its supporters. Following a vote by our members we have embarked on three ventures. The first was to grant a loan to create seed corn for the setting up of a fans' social club that, as this column is being written, is edging ever closer to reality. What we hope will become a home to the fans will allow the money to be repaid and also generate a regular income to be used for the benefit of Hull City and its supporters.

The second venture has been to organise trips to Boothferry Park for disadvantaged youngsters to see City play. We are glad that we can help them enjoy an important part of our local culture and heritage. The third was sponsorship. As well as having a sponsor board at the ground and
sponsoring training kits for players, the Club also asked us to provide kit for teams of handicapped young people. If you were at the Rushden game you will have seen the presentation before the match.

The Tigers Co-operative is still here and very much alive, and like all the rest of you we are looking forward to a much brighter future. We will continue to do all we can to make it as bright as possible for all.

Stop Press: The closing date has been extended to receive free membership of the new fans' social club with your Co-op renewal. Get your renewals in as quickly as possible to take advantage of this special offer. (Anyone wishing to join the social club only will have to pay £15 per annum.)

Fans "thinking" of joining the Co-op - what are you waiting for? First year membership will cost you as little as £15 (£5 subscription, £10 for one share). Juniors under 16 pay £5.

Contact us at: PO Box 145, Brough, HU15 1XP. Our email address is committee@tigersco-op.org.uk