The Toffees announced with big fanfare over the weekend that a newly ‘modernised’ crest would come into force from next season.
The new design, featuring a reworked Prince Rupert’s Tower and without the club’s motto and laurel wreaths, was supposedly produced after extensive consultation with a representative fans forum as well as club employees, kit makers and designers.
The result has been an unmitigated disaster.
The crest has been lambasted from all and sundry for being too simple, neglecting the club’s history and tradition, being cartoon-like and looking cheap and tacky on clothing.
There is a theory that the kit makers wanted a new design that is cheaper to produce – the first batch of ironed-on apparel to hit the club shops over the weekend suggests this is the case.
Plenty of spiel and jargon was churned out on the official site in an attempt to justify the decision. But there is no disguising that it has proved to be deeply unpopular.
Evertonians, never ones to take things lying down, reacted with fury and made moves to do something about it. Credit has to go to Danny Zocek (@dannyz_efc) for setting up a petition that attracted more than 22,00 signatures.
A @NoToNewEFCBadge account on twitter also gathered more than 4,500 followers in a little over 48 hours.
Everton fans weren’t happy and they wanted the club to know about it.
At first the club were silent over the issue, but then, out of nowhere, a statement appeared on the official site on Tuesday evening.
The ‘message to Evertonians’ was an apology for failing to consult the supporters fully over the issue and pledged to change the badge for the 2014/15 season, with time constraints meaning it is too late to make any changes now.
CEO Robert Elstone said:
Clearly the weekend's response has meant that we have reviewed how we went about the whole of the re-design process and whilst many objectives were achieved, we recognised we missed the key part out. Our Chairman had demanded widespread consultation and we stopped short of that. We talked to our Fans' Forum, our commercial partners and our experienced staff around the Club. That was not enough.
"In advance of the 2014/15 campaign, we are turning to you to help us shape and refine the badge we'll adopt in the future. Evertonians from all sections of the fan-base will be pulled together in a fully transparent way. This group will conduct an in-depth review of all aspects of past and present Club Crests. The panel will then develop ideas and put forward suggestions to you. Evertonians will make the final decision.
As much as the club deserved all the stick they have received over the past few days for that monstrosity of a badge, credit also has to go to them for listening to the fans and promising change.
It should never have got to this stage, but at least they have begun to correct a humiliating – and costly – wrong. Two re-brands in two years is very expensive and will incur costs a club like Everton cannot really afford.
The whole saga is baffling, the badge has been almost universally panned so I cannot understand how it was given the ok. An earlier leak on social networks six weeks ago was met with dismay, so the club surely must have known how the fans would react.
My hunch is that designers and the marketing team, who have no real emotional attachment to the club, were the driving force behind this change. That was never going to wash with Evertonians, who feel a deep emotional attachment to their team.
It will be interesting to see how the club will plan to consult the supporters over the new crest – they have promised to announce further details later this summer.