Hull City: Owner Assem Allam turned down takeover bid due to lack of funds

Assem Allam
Assem Allam moved to the UK from Egypt in 1968, settling in Hull from where he made his fortune in marine engineering

Hull City owner Assem Allam says he turned down a bid to sell the Championship club because the prospective new owners had no extra funds to invest in the club.

City were close to being sold last autumn, but Allam felt the move would not be in the club's best interests.

He also says a rival bid by former chairman Paul Duffen could not raise funds needed to buy the Tigers.

Allam also claims a Chinese bid to buy City in 2018 ended after fan protests.

"We had one of the potential interests agree a price to pay, and I said 'how much are you going to put into the club and he said 'that's it'," Allam told BBC Radio Humberside.

"I said 'sorry, no'. I need the future of the club here because I'm a local man, I don't want, after all that I've done, to see the club not able to survive.

"I could have sold it and got my money, but I refused, and I will refuse that."

Fan protests 'killed' Chinese deal

Fan protests at Hull City
Allam says Chinese investors pulled out of a deal to buy Hull after this protest last February

Allam says a Chinese group interested in buying the club were put off after Hull fans held up a televised game with Sheffield United last February.

Supporters threw yellow sponge balls onto the pitch in protest at Allam's leadership.

"They were interested, and they had the money. Then the fans, when they threw the balls at the club during the game, that killed that deal," he said.

"What they said was 'sorry, we know what you've done for this city, for the club, and we'd never do that, we'll never match that. But if that's what you get in return, what about us when things aren't that well?'"

"They thought we had militant fans to stop the game while playing and throwing the balls, which was not really the case.

"But it was scary at the time, so it scared them and they went, but they had the money."

'I'm not looking to make one pound profit'

Hull City fans protest
Hull City fans are unhappy with plans to re-name the club and issues such as ticket prices

Allam says he and son Ehab have not taken a penny out of the club in wages or fees in eight-and-a-half-years of ownership, but have put £88m of their own money into the side.

Egypt-born Allam took over in November 2010 and under his leadership the club have have twice been promoted to the Premier League as well as reaching the 2014 FA Cup final.

But he put the club up for sale that year after a fan backlash after his plans to rename the club 'Hull Tigers'.

"If they want me to be out I have to respect this, and I respect that and I'll do it," Allam added.

"I'm not asking for too much money at all, I just said I'm not looking to make one pound profit, but also I'm not looking to make a loss because we have worked very hard.

Allam says he has used profits from the club to pay back some of the £88m his business loaned in a bid to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

"There's a difference between asking for £88m and asking for £50m. When you ask for £50m more people are interested," he added.

"We'll never sell it in the Championship for £88m."