Assem Allam

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Assem Allam
Assem Allam 1.png
Allam in 2011
Born (1939-08-01) 1 August 1939 (age 74)[1]
Egypt
Nationality British
Occupation Businessman
Known for Industrial Manufacturer
Owner of Hull City A.F.C.

Assem Allam (Arabic: عاصم علام) is an Egyptian-born businessman based in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He is the owner of Allam Marine, an industrial generator manufacturer, and owner of Premier League football team, Hull City.

Background[edit]

Born in Egypt in 1939, Allam fled to the UK from Gamel Abdel Nasser's regime in Egypt in 1968. He studied economics at the University of Hull before working as an accountant at Tempest Diesel Limited (Co No 00335080). In 1981 he used a loan to begin a buy-out of the company. In 1992 the company was put into administrative receivership at the behest of Barclays Bank along with Ruscador Shipyard Limited.[2] In 1992 he incorporated Allam Marine Limited (Co No 02708090),[3] subsequently leading the company to international success. Assem Allam and his son were included in the Sunday Times Rich List 2010. In 2006, he was named the UK Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young,[4] the same firm of accountants who acted as Administrative Receivers of Tempest and Ruscador.[2]

East Riding of Yorkshire[edit]

Allam has frequently made reference to his gratitude for his adoptive home in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and has made several philanthropic gestures to the area including providing support to several local grassroots sports clubs, making donations to the Hull Truck Theatre, as well as becoming a trustee of the Daisy Appeal, a medical research fund at the local Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham. He has stated that he feels an obligation to pay back the region for his success. In September 2010, it was speculated that he was interested in investing in Hull City A.F.C., the local football team, which had been relegated from the Premier League earlier in 2010 with extensive financial problems.[5]

Hull City A.F.C[edit]

After weeks of speculation about a local businessman interested in investing in Hull City, it was confirmed on 18 October 2010 that Assem, along with his son Ehab Allam, had entered negotiations with Hull City owner and chairman, Russell Bartlett. Allam confirmed at the time that he felt the need to "pay back to the area," and that Hull City were important to the area.[6] On 10 November 2010, it was confirmed by the Allams that a deal had been agreed for a controlling interest in the club, and that the Allams would assume control once the relevant requirements had been met.[7]

Whilst it was originally reported that Allam intended to only purchase a majority shareholding in the club, and would continue to work with Russell Bartlett, a protracted period of due diligence indicated that the investment required would be substantially higher than originally planned; this resulted in a move to obtain complete shareholding control of the club.[8] The deal was formally completed at 10.45 pm on 16 December 2010, with the club changing hands for the nominal fee of £1, and with Allam and his son Ehab committing themselves to invest £30 million, as well as providing assurance for a further £10 million.[9][10]

Following the takeover, it was confirmed on the official club website that Assem Allam would take up the role of chairman at the club.[11] On 4 May 2013, Hull City clinched promotion back to the Premier League.[12]

On 9 August 2013, Allam announced that the club will discard its 109-year old name and be, henceforth, "marketed" as Hull City Tigers locally and Hull Tigers to national and international audiences.[13] Announcing the change in the Hull Daily Mail newspaper, he said: "'Hull City' is irrelevant...it is common. I want the club to be special. It is about identity. 'City' is a lousy identity. 'Hull City Association Football Club' is so long."[13] The club's Managing Director Nick Thompson urged supporters "to judge it in the fullness of time."[14] The announcement stated that all references to "AFC" on club branding will be phased out, although they will remain on the shirt crest during their first season back in the Premier League.[14] Allam justified the name change as part of his plans to create "additional sources of revenue" for the club, after Hull City Council refused to sell him the stadium freehold so he could develop, as he had stated, "a sports park" on the site.[15] The council has refused to sell in order, as they stated, "to preserve the annual Hull Fair held on the adjacent car park."[15] After the collapse of the negotiations, Allam stated "I had in mind £30 million to spend on the infrastructure of the club, to increase the stadium by 10,000 and to have commercial activities around the stadium – cafeterias, shops, supermarkets - to have all this to create income for the club so that in the future it can be self-financing and not relying on me." And asked rhetorically, "What if I dropped dead tomorrow?"[15]

On 12 September 2013, Allam, speaking to an interviewer, predicted that "in a few years many clubs will follow and change their names to something more interesting and I will have proved I am a leader."[16] He added that if he were the owner of Manchester City, he would change their name to "Manchester Hunter".[16]

Allam's plans to change the name of the club have been met with strong opposition from supporters of the club,[17][18] whose complaints he dismissed, stating "nobody questions my decisions in my business."[19] In response to the formation of a group opposed to the name change entitled "City Till We Die," Allam responded that the supporters involved "can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football."[20] On 9 April 2014, the FA rejected Allam's proposal to change the club's name. Allam subsequently announced his intention to appeal the decision.[21]

Hull Kingston Rovers[edit]

In May 2011 Allam gave a £1 million gift to Hull Kingston Rovers rugby league club "to be used for stadium improvements and strengthening the playing staff".[22]

Squash sponsorship[edit]

In October 2011, Allam signed a three year sponsorship of the British Open Squash Championships. He plans to move the event to Kingston upon Hull for 2013 and 2014.[23]

Business positions
Preceded by
Russell Bartlett
Hull City A.F.C. chairman
2010–
Succeeded by
Incumbent

References[edit]

  1. ^ Appointments report - Allam Developments Limited (03173562)
  2. ^ a b "The City Diary: Silence on Allam's past - Business News - Business". The Independent. 21 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Companies House WebCheck". Wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Assem Allam profile: One of Hull's most successful businessmen". This is Hull and East Riding. 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "New owner Assem Allam, a millionaire giving something back". Hull Daily Mail. 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Hull City owner Russell Bartlett in takeover talks". BBC Sport (BBC). 18 October 2010. Archived from the original on 21 October 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Allams complete takeover". Hull Daily Mail. 10 November 2010. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Hull City Takeover: Allams ask for patience after £40m deal, but also promise cash for signings". Hull Daily Mail. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Allams' 'gift' to Hull comes at three times original cost". Yorkshire Post. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Allams complete takeover at Hull City". BBC Sport (BBC). 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tigers Under New Ownership". Hull City A.F.C. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Hull City promoted: Allam thanks fans after dramatic afternoon". This is Hull and East Riding. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "'Hull City irrelevant', says owner Assem Allam", The Daily Telegraph, 9 August 2013
  14. ^ a b "Hull City AFC change name to Hull City Tigers". BBC Sport. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c "It'll be MY promotion party, says Allam", The Daily Mail, 6 May 2013
  16. ^ a b "Assem Allam courts controversy and hands Hull City an identity crisis", The Guardian, 12 September 2013
  17. ^ Discussion on City fans' message board
  18. ^ CityTillWeDie website
  19. ^ "Hull City: Tigers chairman dismisses fans' protests". BBC Sport. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Hull owner Assem Allam: Critics 'can die as soon as they want'". BBC Sport. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Hull City: FA Council rejects proposed name change to Tigers". BBC Sport. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Hull City owner Assem Allam explains £1m Hull KR gift". BBC Sport (BBC). 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "Allam Endorses British Open Deal". Squash Site. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.