The takeover of Hull City has moved closer after the club entered a period of exclusivity with a potential buyer.
Turkish media mogul Acun Ilicali and the Allam family, the club’s owners, agreed to a provisional £20 million deal. The two parties are now progressing through the due diligence phase which would end 14 years of controversial ownership.
The Athletic reports that Ilicali has proved to the English Football League that he has the funds to own Hull.
A club statement read: “In light of recent media speculation, we can confirm that the club has recently entered a period of exclusivity for due diligence to take place.”
Hull City Takeover Takes a Step Closer
The Controversial Allam Ownership
When the Allam family acquired the club in 2010, the new partnership got off to a good start. They steered the club towards sustainability by clearing debts, investing and ensuring HMRC did not have a reason to seek a winding-up order.
However, relations soured once Assem Allam attempted to change the club’s name to Hull Tigers. This was a part of a plan to commercially globalise Hull, but it was rejected by the FA in 2014.
Since then, Allam has made it known for several years that the club is up for sale, leaving the club in an era of staleness as they moved between the professional divisions.
Numerous takeovers have failed during the process, though this deal may be the start of a new era for Hull City.
They are currently in the Championship relegation zone with just nine points from 15 games. They have two league wins and scored nine league goals.
If Ilicali can get the deal over the line, it will bring a breath of fresh air to the MKM Stadium. City fans will be glad to see the back of the Allam family, who have neglected the club for many years.
Ilicali has publicly pledged to make Hull a success story and this will no doubt get Hull excited. “I want to fly the flag of our country in England with the success of Hull City,” he told Turkish media in September.
Nevertheless, it is sensible to not let the hype surrounding a new owner replace unpopular ones because of football’s history attracting those who talk, rather than act.
Former Hull boss Peter Taylor believes it is crucial for Ilicali to learn about the club and follow in the footsteps of Leicester City’s owners.
“It’s fantastic if the new owners get to know the club and love the club – and the example for that is Leicester City,” he said.
“I think Leicester City have got new owners and I know they had a bit of a tragedy when the gentleman lost his life in the helicopter crash, but the family still love the club, they love the area and they are so popular- they’ve put their money into the club.
“If the new investors can do that for Hull City and love the club and really want it to do well, then that’s really good news, that will help everybody.”