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Sunday, 23 March 2008

The sporting city of Hull.

The city of Hull, or Kingston-upon-Hull to give it its full and proper name, has 3 top flight sporting teams, Hull City, Hull FC and Hull K.R. The latter two are Rugby League teams and the first one a football team.

The two Rugby League teams have enjoyed top flight Rugby for years. Hull FC have never been outside of the top flight Super League since its inception whereas Hull K.R. have been in the second tier. Both are currently enjoying top flight status with, at this stage of the season, Hull K.R. being above Hull FC in the table which you can view here on the BBC web site.

The Rugby League will be changing into a franchise system where teams will apply to join the Super League. Teams will need to meet certain standards such as have a good modern stadium, prove to have money to survive and so on. Once they think they meet the criteria, set by the Super League standards committee, they can then apply to the Super league for acceptance. If they are considered to meet the criteria they will be admitted to the League. There is more to it than this but that is the raw basics of it. From my prospective this whole franchise idea is a good one as it is a means to ensure the survival of the game itself. This setup in no way means teams that do not meet the criteria will fall away and die. Quite the opposite in fact as it means those teams not up to the standards required for entry have something to aim for. There will be no automatic relegation or promotion as teams will need to apply which in turn means the standards will remain high. The game itself is a fantanstic, hard and sometimes brutal game. Not brutal as in violence but brutal as in tough. You can view bits and pieces of Rugby League games on youtube. Rugby League simply stated is the best sporting game man has ever invented.

On the footballing side we have Hull City. A team that has never played in the top footballing division but has in its existance enjoyed success insomuch as they have enjoyed massive crowds, especially during what was their most successful period of 1968 to 1975. Sadly shortly after this period they plummeted to the lower divisions and manager after manager failed to inspire their players. Off the field the once proud club with, at the time, the best ground outside of the old division one fell into disrepair and the clubs finacial situation went from bad to worst. Then a couple of years ago they started climbing back up the divisions. The old boothferry park ground was left to rot as the team moved lock stock and barrel to the all new KC stadium. The KC stadium is a state of the art stadium designed in such a way as to bolt on more seating places as and when required. It is a stadium fit for the premier league. When the stadium was first devised they also devised a plan which would merge Hull FC and Hull City to use the stadium. Hull City's old ground, Boothferry Park has long since fell into disrepair. Hull FC's old ground, Boulevarde, while not as run down as Boothferry Park was also not of Super League standard so the merger was good for both teams. As it turned out this arrangement went well and both teams are happy to call the KC Stadium their home.

This current season sees Hull City flying high in the Champions League and are almost certain, on their current form, to go up and gain Premier League status for the first time in their history. Hull FC meanwhile are, after 6 games at the the time of writing, languishing second from bottom of a 12 team league but are, in my opinion, sure to rise to a top 6 place at seasons end. They are plagued with injuries to 8 top players at this time. Once all return I am sure they will return to last seasons form and rise steadily upthe table. Hull K.R. currently lay fourth in the league. Many, including myself, have doubts they can sustain this position. Though I reckon they are good for a top 6 place.

All in all. Hull's big 3 sporting teams, Hull City, Hull FC and Hull k.R., are doing the city proud. Long may they have success.

Notice to other sports that thrive in this city some of who are top of their leagues. But they cannot argue that Hull's big 3 sproting teams are Hull City, Hull FC and Hull K.R. But even to these lower sports I say good on you and long may you too reign supreme in your chosen sport.

Hull really is a sporting city.

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