Everton have hardly softened the blow of David Moyes’s departure to Manchester United by issuing an absolute disaster of a new club crest, one which looks like it was designed by a 12-year-old and tellingly does away with the Toffees’ age-old motto “nil satis nisi optimum” (“nothing but the best is good enough”). 20,000 signatures on an online petition later and they’ve been forced to issue an apology and vow to make amends, exemplifying the kind of emotional minefield that football clubs face stumbling into when they decide it’d be a jolly good idea to tamper with their own identities and traditions.
Naturally, Football Burp got all round-uppy and churned out one of those top ten things we just love to lavish you with. Here, then, are our top ten controversial identity changes from recent times…
As described above, this shambolic attempt at updating the club’s image is a worrying sign of just how out-of-touch the top brass are with the fan base, and not just from an Everton perspective. Why bother, and why presume that some disinterested designer and/or committee are the best people to turn to in such an instance?
Football: it’s no ordinary business.
Liquidation forced the Scottish football giants to start again in the third division under the name Newco Rangers, although you can probably still just call them Rangers if you want to. Has Jeff Stelling made a “they’ll be dancing on the streets of Newco” crack yet?
Cardiff City shirt/nickname
Thai owner Vincent Tan appeared to have no idea what he was getting himself into when he decided that it would be best to change Cardiff’s colours from blue to red, and so sensitive an issue is it that some fans upheld their boycott even as the Bluebirds – yes, Vincent, that’s Bluebirds – romped to the Championship title and with it promotion to the Premier League.
Newcastle United stadium
The Magpies sold their stadium naming rights to Sports Direct, resulting in their grand old St James’s Park ground taking on the rather unseemly title of Sports Direct Arena. After a few years of this ghastliness, the ground reverted to its original name when wonga.com snapped up the right.
Until 2007, they were called Gravesend & Northfleet, although they have since flirted with the idea of reverting back based on supporter opinion. In 2011, chairman Phil Sonsara told BBC Radio Kent:
The club plays in Northfleet, the two predominant towns are Gravesend and Northfleet. However Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy, not Gravesend and Northfleet. It’s a difficult call.
And of course they did that weird experiment a few years back when they let fans vote on the starting line-up. Google it.
Tottenham Hotspur crest
Spurs controversially did away with their “audere est facere” (“to do is to dare”) motto on a 2006 redesign which exists to this day.
It’s a classic tale: Norwegians buy club, club gets relegated from Premier League, owners move club to Milton Keynes for bigger catchment area, fans start AFC Wimbledon. It’s perhaps surprising that we haven’t seen more such American style ‘franchise’ relocations, albeit they’ve got a bit more space across the pond.
Leyton Orient/London Orient
Last year, Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn proposed that the club be renamed to London Orient, presumably to help along their bid to move into the Olympic stadium. Unsurprisingly this was shouted down, although the O’s have in the past been known as Glyn Cricket Club, Eagle Cricket Club, Orient Football Club, Clapton Orient and simply Orient.
Leeds United colour change
Leeds changed from blue and yellow to an all-white strip at the behest of Don Revie, the idea being to emulate Real Madrid. We don’t know how much controversy it stoked but presumably that sort of thing doesn’t pass by without a fair amount of comment.
Woolwich Arsenal to (Islington) Arsenal
South London to north London is tantamount to moving cities, if you ask us.
That’s your lot.