Leeds United football club has received criticism from fans after unveiling a new crest on 24 January 2018. After consulting 10,000 people over a 6 month period, the new badge received negative reactions almost instantly online.
2019 will be Leeds United’s centenary, so the club wanted to look forward too the next 100 years with updated imagery. They asked fans, other people close to the club and what the next 100 years means for them.
Leeds Utd have released statements about the passion of their supporters, and the depth of engagement they went into during the process, including several key themes such as:
• Fans are full of optimism about the future
• The clear majority of fans are not attached to the current crest
• Fans are not afraid of change
• Leeds United has a turbulent recent past and a bright future
• Fans are ready to embrace a new era and believe a new crest can be a powerful signal of change
So the club came to the decision that because the fans aren’t that bothered about the current crest, they would re-design it and launch as soon as possible. Oh how they were wrong…
The crest will be featured on the 2018/19 season kit onwards. Angus Kinnear, Leeds United Managing Director said:
The crest will be featured on the 2018/19 season kit onwards.
Angus Kinnear, Leeds United Managing Director, said:
“In the past year we have worked very hard as a club to re-engage fans and the wider community across Leeds. We have seen season ticket sales soar and gates have regularly exceeded 32,000 at Elland Road – we are very grateful for the loyal and unwavering support we have received.
“Once we heard that there was a desire for change to help herald a new era for club, it became of primary importance that the new crest clearly reflected who we are. Everybody knows how proud and passionate the Leeds United fans are, but since I arrived at the club, I have been in awe at the unique connection between the fans and the team.
“Updating the crest is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we are proud to have a new crest that is authentic to Leeds United and honours the quality and loyalty of our fans. It is a symbol of ‘strength in unity’ and a proud expression of the club’s identity and history.”
The history of the Leeds United crest shows that it has evolved over the years, which is normal. Many clubs are in the same position and what is wrong with change? Well, there’s arguments for and against change. But if it’s done for the right reasons, and executed in the right way - it could be very successful.
Leeds Utd said that:
“There are no common or consistent symbols that connect the Club of today with the Club of the past.
The white rose of Yorkshire is an icon but it is not unique to our city. The smiley is a symbol of past successes and is loved by many fans. However, it doesn’t represent something new or help to identify who we are.”
So here’s a look at the past badges and how it has changed, starting from 1908.
OK so the new badge got launched. Unveiled to the world. Here it is, what do you think? Can you describe it in one word? A short sentence?
People did, a lot of people did!
And 1.5 hours after Leeds United launched their new identity, a petition went live to STOP the club from implementing the new ‘Leeds Salute’ crest.
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, who spent several years in Leeds' academy, was not pleased with the new design saying “Think it looks absolutely shocking! what’s everyone else think? Be interested to know who the 10,000 plus people were…”
The new badge was described as "awful", "horrendous" and "shocking" by fans after it was unveiled. And now the club have released a statement saying that they will reopen the consultation to change the club’s crest.
So, Leeds United will take another look at their new crest after it received widespread criticism. "We need to reopen the consultation process," the club's managing director Angus Kinnear told BBC Radio Leeds.
"Because the direction is so distinctive and breaks with a lot of conventions, that consultation process hasn't gone deep enough."
The number of votes in the petition we mentioned, is still rising - so I can only see this going in one direction. The championship club will either stop the new crest being used all together, or they will adapt it slightly to keep fans happy. I cannot see them releasing this new crest after such wide criticism.
Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments below.