Potential purchasers of Hull City will have to dig considerably deeper into their pockets after the club secured their Premier League return by winning what was billed as the most lucrative game in world soccer.

Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday sparked mass celebrations among tens of thousands of Hull fans at Wembley although the long-term supporter who arguably did most to bring about promotion – and may now benefit by selling an asset that soared in value overnight – was not there to see it.

Manager Steve Bruce dedicated the win to the club’s owner, businessman Assem Allam, who is reportedly seriously ill.

At most clubs, a backer who had pumped in around £200 million of his own money would be feted but Hull have been gripped by a very public dispute sparked by the owner’s plans to first rename the club Hull Tigers and then introduce a membership scheme for next season.

The Humberside club has been up for sale for two years with reports circulating of an imminent takeover by an unnamed American consortium, who will presumably now view the club as an even more attractive investment.

The Football League said Saturday’s game was officially worth at least £163 million to the winners, a figure made up by adding the amount for finishing bottom of next year’s Premier League to two seasons of parachute payments paid to relegated clubs.

“When you’re a Premier League club, you’re global. But in the Championship you’re local and relying on gate receipts,” said Allam last year.

“If I left tomorrow, the club would go bust and I don’t want that. I want to stop the club relying on me.”

The challenge for whoever takes over is to turn Hull into more than a yo-yo club.

Their record of promotion in 2008, relegation in 2010, promotion in 2013, relegation in 2015 and now promotion again suggests they are too good for the Championship but not quite Premier League standard.

League One final
Barnsley vs Millwall - 3-1

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us