Hull FC owner Adam Pearson on fresh investment, salary spend and stadium future

HULL FC owner Adam Pearson is confident that he will be able to generate new investment in the club by the end of the year, which he believes will get the club back to where it belongs.

Pearson, who parted company with coach Tony Smith last week, told BBC Radio Humberside in a wide-ranging interview that he is working on plans to improve his club’s financial standing.

“We are working with a corporate partner in Leeds to work through the best particular offer that we can get,” said Pearson.

“They’re all different kinds of offers, but basically it will be an injection of capital into the club, which would take us back to being able to compete within the top five clubs in the Super League. That’s the aim.

“The process will probably take until the end of the season, but it is moving efficiently, and the more publicity that my search for investment gets, the more people pop their heads up. The disappointing thing is that none of that interest has come from Hull.

“We have some fantastic sponsors who have stuck by us so loyally, and they really have been fantastic, but finding that elusive high-net-worth person who wants to put significant funds in alongside the amounts I’m already guaranteeing has proved in Hull to be a fruitless search.

“I’m hoping that because our process is moving along quite quickly now with other parties, it may perk up a bit of interest from people in Hull and see if they want to come forward and help put the club back at the top of the tree, where it should be.”

Pearson confirmed that Hull’s salary cap spend this season is at the maximum level, contradicting an estimation of the club’s expenditure recently made by Sky Sports.

“Despite what everybody says, we are spending £2.35 million every year,” he added.

“Whether that is money well spent is a better question. Sky guessing that we are at £1.8 million – if I were to take them to a court of law, it would take about 30 minutes for them to be found guilty.”

Pearson admits, however, that this season he is not taking up the salary-cap option to spend more on marquee players.

“You can still be smart and compete without marquees,” he said.

“In fact marquees can be detrimental to player dressing-room happiness. They are not the be all and end all, but if you get them right they can make an impact on the team. 

“And if we could get the deal sorted out that I am looking to do between now and the end of the season, you would expect to see marquee players again at Hull, aligned to what we see as a burgeoning talent pool coming through from the Academy, aligned to workmanlike Super League journeymen to bolster the Academy and marquee players. That would be the ideal model.”

Meanwhile Pearson dismissed any likelihood of the club moving away from the MKM Stadium into a new facility owned by the club.

“We’d love to have our own stadium obviously, but that’s a bit of a pipe dream,” he said.

“We’ve four years left at the MKM. I fully expect us to stay there and extend that lease. We’re not in a mad rush to extend it at the minute because as you know every time you re-negotiate a lease it only goes one way.

“So we’d quite like to keep what we’ve got and negotiate but the council are completely on board and supporting us with a right to an extension to play there.”

Finally, Pearson responded to criticism that he has been a poor communicator with supporters while the club has been in decline.

“If people want me to communicate more I will do but as far as the investment process is concerned I will be closing that communication down straight after this interview because it’s in nobody’s interest,” he said.