THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Club offer fans three choices

icon evbadge26 September ~ Everton's latest attempt at a new crest that has the backing of supporters has led to three options being put to a vote following a lengthy consultation. While the club deserves credit for the democratic approach, it's hard to escape the feeling that they have missed the point of the uproar over the badge introduced in May. Criticism of the initial crest was wide and varied: the Latin motto was missing, Prince Rupert's Tower (the local landmark that has featured on the badge since 1930s) was too squat, even if it is a more realistic representation.

But underneath it all, what really rankled was that the badge wasn't very good. Most Evertonians would have accepted change, but only for the better.

This week saw the unveiling of the three proposed new designs; they were met with substantially less than universal acclaim. A poll of more than 20,000 supporters was conducted online and at Goodison Park on matchdays, and a group of senior players and other figures associated with the club were also asked for their thoughts on what the latest new crest should contain.

The best that can be said about the trio of choices is that they're an improvement on the last effort, but there is the distinct air of design-by-committee about them, to be expected given the attempt to make so many people happy in such a wide-ranging process. After the furious response to the May crest Everton had little choice but to open up the development stage to supporters and again deserve credit for doing so, but ultimately the designs come from the club and the shoulder-shrugs and sighs are of their making.

That Everton have produced some excellent advertising campaigns in recent years makes the damp squib of both the first badge and the subsequent three all the more curious. This year's promotion of the new kits, centred around the tagline "It's in our DNA" is a prime example of the stylish work the club can knock out – it's modern, vibrant and original, everything the May crest was not. The three latest offerings would also struggle to justify any of those descriptions.

Everton's online literature states that "We cannot guarantee the new crest will be one that is liked by every single supporter" and therein lies the problem. No one is really happy with the outcome, whichever badge wins the vote. Everton don't have the badge they wanted, the one proposed in May. Supporters don't have the badge they wanted, or a badge worth the hassle of either redesign. Everyone is instead stuck with a pedestrian club crest that evokes feelings of apathy and regret, hardly an image to project to the world. Andrew Tuft

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