Change has met plenty of opposition
28 May ~ Just to pile discontent on to the uncertainty surrounding Everton, the club recently unveiled a redesigned badge that has gone down among supporters about as well as a return to the dugout for Walter Smith. A poll by one of the leading Everton fans websites, conducted the evening the new badge was revealed to the public, found 91 per cent of the more than 1,000 respondents either disliked or hated the design. An online petition set up to show the amount of opposition to the badge already has more than 20,000 signatures.
Reaction on message boards and Twitter – never a place for reasoned discourse at the best of times – was furious, and the club's attempts at justifying the change did little to placate the angered.
Everton released a lengthy series of articles on their official website to explain the thought process behind the design and the decision. They attempted to tie it to badges the club has had in the past and pointed out, correctly, that the design has changed regularly. One article emphasised the consultation process, with the official fans forum part of the procedure, but there are legitimate questions as to the independence of the group – dissenting voices don't tend to last long.
Season ticket holders were also apparently asked for their thoughts, but as a season ticket holder of more than a decade I certainly wasn't among them and couldn't name anyone who was. The Everton Shareholders' Association wasn't involved either. Complaints are wide and varied. Some fans are opposed because it doesn't contain the club's Latin motto, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum – roughly translated as "Nothing but the best is good enough". With others it rankles that the reasoning behind changing the badge is to make it easier to reproduce digitally on merchandise, another case of modern football clubs finding new and more efficient ways of parting fans from their money.
The one thing that it appears everyone agrees on is that the badge is simply not very good. It's variously been compared to or described as something drawn by a toddler, a leftover from Microsoft Clip Art, a beehive, a gnome's outhouse and a Walnut Whip. It also bares a strange resemblance to one mocked up by the Danbury Mint.
The timing of the announcement raised eyebrows, coming the afternoon of the Champions League final and shortly before it was confirmed Everton will be part of a pre-season tournament in the US with the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid. A cynic would suggest the club were attempting to bury the announcement. If Everton were hoping that the Champions League final would hide the news and the glamorous friendlies would soothe any outrage, they were very much mistaken. Andrew Tuft