Hull has been named as the next “City of Culture” for 2017. Sounds really impressive until you realise there was only a shortlist of four and only about 12 places applied. Its also a bit confusing as the European Union nominate “Capitals of Culture”, but they also make award to multiple places, for 2017 its Aarhus in Denmark, Pafos in Cyprus and one TBD. That really doesn’t make sense, and you could be forgiven if you get confused. Just for the record we’ve had Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008.
What will the impact be on Hull? Hull has changed recently. Previously known as a hard-drinking town full of dockers and trawlermen, with a ferry port as a gateway to the North Sea and mainland Europe. The impressive Humber bridge put Hull on the map and its become more recognised, but are the changes going to be real or cosmetic?
Right now Hull City, as opposed to Hull, the city; is under threat from the owner of being re-branded as “Hull Tigers“. It only makes sense from a pure commercial decision unaffected by authentic football supporter loyalty that is local and vociferous. Set against a global market that is fickle and transitory. Unfortunately supporters don’t always have much control or impact on these matters.
Looking at commercial decisions in football (and generally in sport) such as at Cardiff with endless rows on changing colours and branding, it tends to be commercial interest versus partisan support that is the bedrock of historic tradition, and a legacy that might not be passed on. Or like MK Dons, maybe its for a future generation to grow up with and develop their own tradition and history.