Life in the football league these days is always a rocky ride no matter which team you support, as Lincoln fans know all too well.
The teams that are in geographical proximity to Sincil Bank Stadium are no different, with everyone from Scunny to the Mariners having their fair share of troubles both on and off the pitch.
However, one club that looks set to fall harder than most is the former Premier League side Hull City. They’re perilously close to the Championship drop and their fans worry that they could regress to being the team that was almost scrubbed from the history books altogether in 2000 when they were locked out of Boothferry Park by then-owner David Lloyd.
Here is a look at what has gone wrong the other side of the Humber Bridge, with a team that once had its followers dreaming of buying players who featured in La Liga and Bundesliga oddschecker odds lines week-in week-out. How the mighty have fallen! We also look ahead to what could be another welcome derby away day over the estuary.
From FA Cup Final to No Wins Since New Year’s Day
In 2014 one of the unlikeliest FA Cup finals took place, as Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal took on Steve Bruce’s Hull City. In the end, the Tigers lost 3-2 but gave their travelling faithful a day they will never forget. Flash forward 6 years and the club find themselves in dire need of divine intervention if they are to avoid dropping into League One.
The slide began in earnest at the very beginning of 2020, as the club sold both its most valued assets in the form of free-scoring Jared Bowen and his assist-provider-in-chief Kamil Grosicki. Immediately after their departure the goals predictably dried up and have shown no sign of returning, with the club embarrassing itself further by asking the EFL that the season be cancelled, such are their relegation worries.
A Change Too Far
Although the loss of Grosicki and Bowen was pivotal to Grant McCann’s side losing their momentum, problems had been brewing at the KCOM Stadium long before those two players packed their bags.
The Allam family, who at first were lauded for providing the club with much-needed funding, have since become the object of furious protests. They first attempted to change the club’s historic name for marketing purposes and then hiked matchday ticket prices just as the team’s performances were on the decline.
All this has made for a perfect storm that has hit at just about the worst time for the Humberside club, with attendance dropping almost as quickly as the team are down the league.
A Silver Lining
The only hope in the short to medium term for Tigers fans is that a buyer is found for the club, which has been officially up for sale since 2018.
If the right woman or man comes in at the helm, then the club’s future could be secured and give the team the boost it needs to pull its socks up and survive.
In the event that doesn’t happen then Imps fans will no doubt be glad to have another local derby on their hands, and a short trip that won’t require much of a visit to the petrol pump.
The two teams used to regularly do battle back in the 90s and early 2000s until Hull romped up through the divisions. Indeed, the Imps were something of a bogey team for the men in black and amber, only losing once in 12 league meetings between 97 and 2004. With stats like that there is all the more reason for Hull not to want to get relegated, and push harder than ever before.