Between bites of his Eggs Benedict, dressed in his shiny amber track top proudly displaying the Hull City crest, Acun Ilicali paused for a breather before expressing his desire to turn the Championship club into a powerhouse among the elite of English football.
Hull City’s new owner was in a relaxed mood ahead of a busy day of interviews and the press conference to officially unveil the new era at MKM Stadium, after agreeing a deal last Wednesday.
Ilicali is a showman, his fortune and wealth were built from a career in the media industry, so it will come as no surprise to see him use it to his advantage.
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The ink was barely dry on the contracts before the Hull Daily Mail’s two-year ban was immediately lifted ahead of the 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, and days after the takeover the comment agreement from BBC Radio Humberside had been reinstated in time. for Saturday’s home clash with Swansea City.
Relaxing in his armchair in the opulent surroundings of the Beverley Arms Hotel, Ilicali once again spoke of his desire to see the stadium with more supporters inside than we know.
Despite all the talk of transfers, new contracts, management, TV shows and the like, there is one overriding goal on his mind, and that gives every supporter – young, old and in between – the chance to watch this team play.
Opening the West Stand Upper is a high priority once demand permits, and he hopes that by the time Barnsley arrives towards the end of next month, black and amber scarves will love these seats, and s successful, there would be one in every seat before kick-off this weekend.
One of the biggest flaws of previous ownership was a lack of engagement with supporters, a chronic breakdown in the relationship that became irreparable and ultimately caused Allam’s house to crumble.
It’s at the other end of the spectrum.
Ilicali sits with his arms outstretched before delivering his grand plan to fill the stadium with young people, families and find a ticket price policy that works, not just commercially to keep club finances healthy, but more importantly for him, that the inhabitants of a city he fell in love with can enjoy it.
He’s a family man and those ideals run deep in him – conversations always start and end on the subject of family, and it’s no surprise he wants to create that kind of atmosphere around Hull City and long term.
He’s not here to make a quick fortune, or to advance his ego or boost his Instagram account, it’s a project, and a project to be delivered over time, but make no mistake about it, he wants results and he wants them now.
The challenge he faces above all else is to inspire those inside and outside the walls of the club to join him on his journey, for without them he has little hope.
Shota Arveladze’s appointment is an obvious risk, especially given the crucial moment of the season the Tigers find themselves in, nine points above the bottom three after beating Blackburn and Bournemouth in the last two outings.
Arveladze is a soft-spoken character, but with a terrific footballing pedigree and someone who has been preparing for the role for six months, he will have the respect of a squad of players who are still a bit shaky after losing Grant McCann and Cliff. Byrne. Tuesday.
The Georgian struggled to underline how impressed he was with the squad McCann left behind, before going even further to say how he wanted City to win every game he watched in the weeks and the months before his arrival.
Friend of the owner he may be, but there will be pressure to succeed, to get results and to play in a way that not only entertains the crowd, but also Ilicali.
Admitting to the assembled media inside the 1904 suite later today that he would rather watch a thrilling 4-3 defeat than a 0-0 draw may raise an eyebrow or two, but the point what Ilicali was trying to argue was based on entertainment.
Ilicali’s world revolves around entertainment and he will demand that from his manager, whoever he is.
The 52-year-old was in his element, as he told us after making the mad dash to Istanbul to celebrate his daughter’s birthday before returning for the Swans game it was his chance, according to his own words, to pose his vision of the club
It’s a unique relationship, and a year ago neither of us even knew existed, but you feel English football is about to witness something it’s never seen before. , and Hull City AFC are going to be front and center.
Buckle up because it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
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