Guest column: Victor Meldrew on the club badge

 

Over at FOF people are wondering if Fulham have the worst badge in the league.  I’ll save the cheap shots – no mentions of swastikas or of the design being created by a six year old here! – and instead cut to the chase: since so many people like the old Fulham badge, what exactly did we gain by updating it?

If you think this is something positive for the brand and adds to the club’s recognition then I challenge you to expand on the point and explain what that really means for the team. If you saw someone on Putney High Street wearing a white football shirt you would have a fair idea which team the shirt belonged to, right?  And this, it must be said, is where 99% of Fulham football shirt sitings must be made: really near the ground. So we gain nothing in recognition by having a more striking effort, not locally.

For the remaining 1% – on holiday perhaps – it may indeed make it easier to recognise the badge. But for the people in Majorca who see someone wearing a white shirt and non-descript badge, what exactly are we hoping for?  That they recognise the logo and become fans? 

The old Fulham and Hammersmith Borough crest may not be identifiable in Kos, but how much does this really cost the club?  Nothing? £45?  In the nation’s playgrounds a child has to be half-mad to support anyone other than the big clubs anyway, so trotting up in a Fulham kit of any type is a brave and attention worthy move, regardless of the picture on the chest.

What exactly does Fulham’s brand mean for the club? Does the exciting, modern badge bring people to the ground?  I can see that the simple, clean design may appeal to children, but they’re only going to go if their parents bring them anyway, and parents are more likely to be won over by something that says ‘local’ and ‘tradition’ than some garish CDT project gone wrong. 

Merchandise sales? Hardly. Newcastle must sell more merchandise than almost everyone else, and their logo was this


until relatively recently.

Chelsea used to use this:


If a cack badge made up of curiously tilted letters was important, other clubs would do it too.  And they don’t.

It’s not too late to admit that the whole thing has been a terrible mistake and bring back the old crest.  I know that it contains “off brand” colours (blue! not blue! – a secret: Johnny Haynes wore blue for Fulham more often than he wore ‘gold’) but the old shield with the hints of the Thames and the local relevance could surely be tastefully modernised to bring Fulham back in line with the other Premier League clubs. It should happen.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

14 thoughts on “Guest column: Victor Meldrew on the club badge

  1. The myth that the club chose to peddle about not having copyright or whatever for the badge was proven to be a load of nonsense some time ago and they have since revised their story.

    The club recognise that as a non-trophy-winning club with a history spent bobbing up and down through the divisions, our USP is our heritage: the oldest senior club in London, the beautiful ground, black and white pictures of former greats, the terraced streets, …all that stuff. And so they get shot of a heraldic crest that (a) has our bloody name on it, (b) has some geographical relevance and (c) looked like the sort of badge you might associate with the oldest club from the capital city of country in which football originated, and instead got in the nonsense that is our current badge. A badge that renders any merchandising unwearable.

  2. The appeal of Fulham is a friendly but professional club with a great history. Please can we have our Professional Club Badge back to wear with pride. It would be great to have a shirt fabric for the supporters that is not elastic for those of us with a ‘bit of a tummy!!’

  3. Oh boy. Let me put on some Kevlar real quick…

    Personally, the current badge is what first caught my eye about this club. As an American in 2006 with little knowledge of the EPL, all the others seemed so ornate, so antiquated…so “English”.

    Fulham’s badge and its simplistic modernity stood out to me. It was what I pictured chic-European/English design to be. Especially compared to the overwrought masculinity and 3D shadowing shit that’s so common in American sports logos as of late (see: entire NBA and MLS; any recent NHL teams; recent college athletic re-branding)

    Sure, it doesn’t have all the intricacies that the other clubs do. And should it change? Perhaps. But I like it.

    Also, the original source for the discussion on FOF can be found here. An amazing post: http://ongoalsscored.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/the-lion-the-bird-and-the-seahorse/

  4. Other people clearly care and obviously that’s their right but for me it seems a matter of complete triviality.

    Any badge or no badge is fine with me.

  5. Everytime this discussion raises its head I wonder. Were there as many people back then who were incensed about THEIR new badge being so much poorer than the one THEY first associated with Fulham. Face it, people don’t like change. 25 years from now when our current badge changes,there’ll be 20-somethings now who will be absolutely livid that the club will want to mess with its history and team loyalty etc. etc. etc.

    Fact is, that we’ve been rebranded several times over our history. Each badge has some charm and appeal — including the current one — and the very fact that each badge brings about a feeling of ownership on the part of those who came to Fulham while it was in effect, indicates that it’s working.

    I don’t really care why the club changed its look, I am pretty sure that it didn’t involve 6-year-old NAZIs.

  6. It’s not just on the shirts, though. It’s printed in the Guardian Sport’s teamsheets, on Sky Sports news on Soccer Saturday, and all over the internet. I do think the new badge is more ‘striking’/recognisable than the old one – a perhaps there’s something in the idea that this makes the world more aware that Fulham exist than they otherwise would. I dunno.

  7. Sebastian Vettel (on the right in the Germany shirt) is a glowing fan of Eintracht Frankfurt, a club that has never changed its badge, even though the eagle has always beared resemblances to the crest of our national team.

    http://www.nostalgie-trikots.de/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=169

    Changing logos is very uncommon in Germany. Despite the massive commercialisation of football here, club crests have mostly remained untouched. Long may it stay that way.
    Fulham’s logo could not be more boring. Bring back the old one, please!

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