ABOUT US: What is Hull City Official Supporter’s Club?
HCOSC (also known as the ‘OSC’) was formed in December 2003 under the instruction of then club chairman Adam Pearson and is still the only supporters’ group officially recognised by Hull City AFC and Hull Tigers Ltd. This means our members have access to certain benefits, in partnership with the football club, which unaffiliated groups don’t have. We aim to be the first port of call for fans home and abroad who want to connect with fellow supporters and get closer to the club itself.
*A full list of membership benefits is available on the ‘Join us' membership section of the website.
The OSC has had many ups and downs, peaking at over 4,000 members at one point but several factors have contributed to a decline in numbers over the last few seasons. However the OSC is far from redundant and is now enjoying something of a resurgence under a new board of directors, all of whom are committed to raising the standards of the organisation and returning it to its original core values, which can be summed up in one sentence:
“BRINGING YOU, THE FANS, CLOSER TO YOUR CLUB”
We feel there has been some confusion in recent seasons over the exact purpose of the OSC and where we fit into the jigsaw of Hull City fans and supporter’s groups in operation today. Basically the OSC is a membership club. The aim is to give fans the opportunity to get closer to the football club through our events, fundraising activities, competitions and social activities. Many of which are open to the wider fan-base but free of charge to our members.
We are not a campaign group and unlike independent supporters’ groups we aren’t in a position to hold strong views on any particular issues surrounding the club’s operational activities. Generally, our ‘official’ status means that we are aligned with the club and almost a part of it. Like any official supporters’ club, we must be wholly supportive of our football club. Our one key stance is to be pro Hull and pro Hull City.
The OSC will represent our members when meeting with the club and we regularly relay concerns or inform the club of issues that affect supporters. However, we are not a politically motivated organisation and our focus is the support of the team and providing a valuable social hub, if we can raise some much needed funds for a few local charities as we go then all the better.
WHO’S RUNNING THE SHOW?
None of our management group are employed by the club, the OSC is entirely run by Hull City fans on a part-time voluntary basis done as a ‘labour of love’ in our spare time, rather than for any personal or financial gain. The management team has a great deal of professional experience including marketing, sales, company administration, publishing and business management. Some are based in Hull, some are based elsewhere but all of us are black & amber through and through.
We’re not a closed shop by any means so if you’d like to help out please contact Katheryn Townsley (Chair) by email.
HOW DOES THE OSC WORK?
The OSC is currently a Limited Company and a non-profit organisation. All money raised from memberships, events, lottery, sales and sponsorship etc is used to provide OSC events, support local charities, community clubs and organisations and where possible we also support the club itself. A proportion of funds is also used to promote the OSC in order to increase and maintain membership, so as to further our core objectives as outlined above.
Membership is annual and we are currently working to provide a more structured calendar of events for our members. If your membership has recently expired or you’ve not been with us for years; now is a great time to renew – why not join us, it would be great to have you back!
THINGS HAVE CHANGED
Along with a new board comes new ideas and a new focus.
We’re aware that the old website wasn’t used to its full potential, partly due to the difficulties and cost of updating and maintaining it and partly due to the limitations of the content management system. The new website isn’t specifically designed for a supporter’s club but we believe the platform offers better functionality and is easier to navigation for members. It allows us to integrate with social media a lot more fluidly too and provides greater commercial opportunities, as well as giving members the chance to interact through comments on news and features and the website forum. Importantly the new website offers certain safeguarding and moderation capabilities in line with child welfare standards.
You can sign-up or renew your membership online, buy OSC merchandise or tickets for events and vote on our regular fan’s polls. There’s also a weekly update email for members.
The website isn’t all that’s changed, members who follow us on social media will know that our match-day output has increased dramatically and we now have some great content going out across the major social media channels.
Offline we still have old favourites like TIGERMAG which over the last 12 months has seen a massive shift from an amateur production to something much more in keeping with the standards you’d expect from an official supporters club publication – if you’ve missed the last edition you can find back-issues to view online here
We’re aware that not everyone is online so TIGERMAG provides an important bridge between two worlds, allowing us to bring a little bit of online content to those who don’t usually have access to it.
Our events calendar is being re-formatted with regular charity pub quizzes, meet the player nights, ex-tigers nights and much more. We’re working to reinstate the stadium tours and offer more diversity of events – keep an eye on the website for details.
Tiger Cubs is a very important part of the OSC.
In 2014 we implemented a new ‘Tiger Cubs’ junior scheme, this was simply the new name for our junior membership and is open to anyone aged 14 or under. Going forward we will be expanding the ‘Tiger Cubs’ membership package to include bespoke events and merchandise suitable for a younger audience. We know that some of the events our older members enjoy the most are actually the ones we put on for their children, so expect more fun 'Tiger Cubs' events to be added to the calendar.
We have members and branches all over the world, from the USA to Australia via South Africa. We hope that the OSC can help bring exiled City fans from all over the world closer to the club they love. Sometimes this is literally the case. In the last few seasons we’ve had fans over to pay homage at The KCOM from all over the UK, The USA, Scandinavia, Australia, Asia and mainland Europe.
Hull City are known worldwide and our members are always welcome in The Airco Arena Bar before games, no matter where they’ve blown in from!
We recognise that the regional branches of the OSC have somewhat been neglected in recent times and plans are developing to address that, however the trunk has to be healthy before the branches can bear fruit. We are certainly heading in the right direction.
I’M A MEMBER – HOW CAN I GET MORE INVOLVED?
For more information about The Airco Arena Bar - click here.
You can take part in our website votes, attend our meet the player or ex-tigers events, submit an article for inclusion in Tigermag or on the website, help out as a volunteer, follow or add us on social media and share our content to your friends and followers, enter competitions, test your knowledge at our pub quizzes, say hello in The Airco and take in a live interview with a past tigers great.
There’s loads going on and we would love to know what you think of it all.
If you have any comments or feedback, good or bad, please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ section of the website.
We are Hull City – and so are you!