Update 29 January 2018: Leeds United has confirmed it will reopen consultation on its new crest after it received widespread criticism from fans. In a statement on its site, the club says: “We conducted thorough research into the desire for a change to the crest to symbolise a new era for the club. However, we also appreciate the need to extend the consultation with supporters and we are committed to working with you to create an identity we can all be proud of.”
Leeds United has unveiled a new crest inspired by the football club’s song Marching on Together.
The badge has been redesigned ahead of the club’s 100th anniversary in 2019, and is the result of a six-month consultation period with over 10,000 people. The club consulted current players, club staff, the owner, partners and members of the public from Leeds and Yorkshire in a series of digital surveys, one-on-one and group interviews and meetings.
“As we approach the centenary we asked what the future means to [fans],” says Leeds United. “It has become abundantly clear that the fans are ready to herald in a new era. It is also clear that the current crest represents a turbulent and largely unsuccessful period in the club’s history.”
The new badge aims to reflect the idea of “strength in unity”, says managing director Angus Kinnear. “Once we heard that there was a desire for change to help herald a new era for the club, it became of primary importance that the new crest clearly reflected who we are.”
The badge retains the blue and yellow team colours, but ditches the white rose symbol and “unrecognisable” LUFC logotype seen previously, says the club. Instead, Leeds United is now written out in full, and the crest depicts a person placing their right hand on their chest. The hand symbol is known as the “Leeds Salute”, and is often done by fans on match days while singing the club’s song Marching on Together.
Leeds United has not confirmed at the time of publishing whether it worked with any design consultancies on the rebrand. The new crest will be rolled out during the 2018-2019 football season.
Leeds United’s crest has undergone 10 previous incarnations in the club’s 100-year history. Notable designs include the abstract “smiley” symbol, which went through several different iterations during the 1970s, and the white rose of Yorkshire symbol first seen in 1984.
Since being unveiled earlier today (24 January) – and despite the lengthy consultation process – the club’s decision to redesign its crest has been met with much criticism on social media.
Not ownable enough. The beating chest motif could apply to any football team i feel..
— MAX (@maxhasanicehat) January 24, 2018
Design Week readers have branded the new badge as “generic, “threatening” and “absolute garbage”. Twitter user Max says it isn’t “ownable enough”, adding: “the beating chest motif could apply to any football team”.
It’s a nice illustration, but completely inappropriate for a football crest. Trying to be too trendy when a football crest should look traditional
— Maxine (@MaxineBSmith) January 24, 2018
Another Twitter user, Maxine, says: “It’s a nice illustration, but completely inappropriate for a football crest. Trying to be too trendy when a football crest should look traditional.”
It is not the first time that a football crest redesign has come under fire from fans. In 2013, Everton did a U-turn on a new badge that had been designed in-house following much protest online from supporters. The club later allowed fans to choose from three options designed by Liverpool-based consultancy Kenyon Fraser.