What the hell a 78 year old woman drooling over bloody Rod Stewart is all about is anyone’s guess.
However six months ago our lass went to the Post Office drew out two hundred quid and sent off for two tickets for the ageing Scottish crooner. Two hundred quid… that’s around 60 pints and at my age it equates to a month’s supply of beer. Not satisfied with that, when the bloody tickets arrived she announced one of them was for me; as a blooming treat apparently. Our Lass really doesn’t get it. You know I worry about her, I really do, because even after all these years, she still can’t get her priorities right at all, surely she knows by now that Tuesday is dominoes night.
I’d been dreading it for months but come 14th June, as Sam took over my place at in the Cholmley ‘doms’ team, I had little option left. I donned the only trendy T shirt I had, that wasn’t related to Hull FC (John Smiths Bitter is Better) and went along ‘kicking and screaming’ to the KC; Rugby League it certainly was not. The fact that our lass had paid £95 each for the seats and we stood up all night was the first big bug bare for yours truly, I remained seated as she bought a ‘seat’ but had to stand in the end because I couldn’t see anything. As I stood in the middle of the pitch waiting for it all to start, my mind drifted off to some great tries that had been scored there and some great memories of great victories. I wasn’t impressed with the drink either, particularly with the cost of the beer (£4-50 a bottle) and then there was the bloody plastic glasses, plus of course the plethora of Rod Stewart lookalikes (what’s that all about) and hosts of folks sporting tartan scarves. It was a surreal night all round for yours truly. All that said after what seemed like an absolute age the concert started and then I have to admit that it wasn’t that bad and to be honest I even found myself singing along a bit at times. Bloody hell what’s happening to me.
However it was mighty good indeed to turn round and look at the legions of people behind me stood up in their seats in the West Stand singing, dancing and having a great time watching an artiste that, although not everyone’s cup of tea, would have never ever come to Hull to perform without the KCOM Stadium. What a massive asset it is or ….what a massive asset it should be..
You know if you read these ramblings regularly that I don’t have a lot of time for politicians, however when the City Council decided to build the Stadium as a home for the two big Clubs in the City and as a place where such massive artistes could perform, I thought it was a great idea. OK I liked the rugby bit but there was no denying that the concerts bit was also a great idea because it also gave the people of Hull a chance to see these massive stars creating as it did, an opportunity that they usually wouldn’t get perhaps in their life time. That was the idea behind the place and how good is that? Indeed everything started well and who as an FC fan can forget those first few years player there, while on the other side of things the Tigers went from strength to strength and the music fans of the City got a chance to see Neil Diamond, Elton John and Bon Jovi (whoever he is) to name but a few.
So why was this Rod Stewart affair the first bloody concert at the KC for years? I’ll tell you why, because like so many other things down there at ‘the people’s stadium’ the owners of the SMC don’t want to do them. From being a shiny new public icon in the heart of the City, the KCOM has slowly but surely been degraded and run down. Over the years the Allam’s have ensured that firstly community groups were priced out of the place altogether, then there was the whole fiasco of the Airco Arena which is now carpeted in artificial grass and always shut, whilst the community groups from there were thrown out and had to either disband or find alternative venues. My mate Harry Palmer was only saying to me the other day as well, about how the whole area around the Stadium is showing signs of fatigue and the bogs and concourses are looking decidedly worn and ‘tired’.
In addition to that the only remaining real regular customers, us lot, the fans of the two Clubs, have lost all confidence in the current owners of Hull City and the SMC. It is clear to many people I speak to in Club, be they City Fans, FC fans or just plain darts players who don’t watch either game, that everyone is sick of it all now and the best outcome for all concerned is for the Allam’s to sell up and get out. In addition it’s about time our mates on the City Council grew some balls with regard to their obligations concerning such an iconic public asset.
Hull City are on the crest of a wave but everyone in Club who goes, reckon they are being torn to pieces when they should be celebrating, while their sales speculation continues to grow. Why don’t they just bugger off and let us get the Stadium back to being run the way that it was intended. The current owners quite like the idea of being Premier League chairman I’m sure, so it’s no surprise to me that it’s taking so long. You see over the years I have paid my rates, community charges etc. and so that place actually belongs to me and everyone else in the City, but you wouldn’t think so would you?
What I experienced at the KCOM and the way the thousands including our lass enjoyed the concert vindicate completely the dreams and vision of Pat Doyle and his Council at the turn of the century. However the philosophy at the top of the SMC (and Hull City) seems to me to be so against the very principle on which the Stadium was built in the first place and that’s the crying shame. Sadly it seems to me that the situation at the KCOM indicates that in the end the Allam’s don’t give a toss about the community at all, but we knew that anyway. I don’t talk politics in here but after the Brexit vote was said by many to, rightly or wrongly, give Britain back to the British, perhaps here in Hull we should be thinking about giving our Stadium back to the people who own it.
At present its a bloody liberty. Gerrum in