Hull to sign Jelavic as owner threatens to quit

Former Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic is set to sign for Hull City. Picture: PA
Former Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic is set to sign for Hull City. Picture: PA
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HULL City are set to break their club record to sign Nikica Jelavic from Everton, while owner Assem Allam has threatened to quit the club over his controversial application to change its name.

The deal for former Rangers striker Jelavic is believed to be worth £6.5million with a further £1 million due if the Tigers avoid relegation, eclipsing the club’s previous biggest outlay of £5.25m for Tottenham’s Tom Huddlestone last year.

Threat over Tigers switch

Despite his evident willingness to boost his club’s Barclays Premier League survival bid, Allam once again reiterated his hard-line stance over his bid to change the club’s name to Hull Tigers.

Allam warned he will be gone “within 24 hours” if his move does not receive widespread backing, telling Sky Sports News: “No-one on earth is allowed to question my business decisions.

“I won’t allow it. I can give you my CV to give you comfort, for what I do in business, what I have achieved, but for someone to come and question me is not allowed.

“I’m here to save the club and manage the club for the benefit of the community. It will never, never be the other way round - that the community manage it for me.

“But if the community say go away, I promise to go away within 24 hours.”

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is carrying out a poll of Hull fans and will send the results of the survey to the FA, which has to sanction any change to the ‘playing name’.

An FSF spokesman said: “This sounds like a rather crude attempt to blackmail the FA.

“Our view is that a club’s name is part of the cultural heritage of the club and that it shouldn’t be approved by the FA unless it can clearly be shown the majority of the fans agree with it.

“We are polling our Hull City members for their view and we will send the results of that poll to the FA.”

Allam clashes with fans

Allam caused controversy in November when he reacted angrily to lobbying from campaign group City Till We Die by retorting: “They can die as soon as they want.”

But Hull fans may have been placated by the signing of Jelavic, who was allowed to leave Goodison Park by Toffees boss Roberto Martinez in order to pursue his World Cup ambitions with Croatia.

Jelavic had fallen out of the first-team picture following the summer loan signing of Romelu Lukaku but still proved he has an eye for goal when he scored two goals in the 4-0 FA Cup win over QPR earlier this month.

Jelavic made a stunning start to his Everton career after joining for £5.5m from Rangers in January 2012, scoring the winner on his full debut against Tottenham and going on to hit 11 goals in 16 games before the end of the season.

But he struggled to maintain his momentum during the following campaign and has found his first-team chances increasingly restricted.