Leeds United Football Club (LUFC) released a statement today stating its intention to create a new identity after more than 70,000 people signed a petition to rid LUFC’s new crest less than 24 hours after it was unveiled.
Could this be the greatest backlash against a new design we’ve seen in a while? Last year there was distaste toward Dropbox’s bold new colour palette, but Leeds United Football Club’s new crest design seems to have been a seriously unfortunate mistake.
Huge recoil unraveled online from supporters and fans moments after its debut on Twitter yesterday.
Leeds United posted the new crest to Twitter, which depicts a man saluting – the 'Leeds Salute'– with the words 'Celebrating fans at the heart of our identity'. The post stated the design was finalised after six months of research, with 10,000 people consulted – and in retrospective irony – it was 'ready for the next 100 years'.
Unfortunately the logo has gained huge negative attention among almost 10,000 comments, and from the mouths of the Yorkshire public, the new crest has been dubbed "terrible", "awful", "a bit American", "doesn’t represent what the club is like" and "done by a child".
Even Zenit FC Saint Petersburg responded with tongue-in-cheek.
Others didn't hold back either.
Clearly didn’t consult the right people.— Leeds Fan (@LeedsFanz) January 24, 2018
Get rid and rethink#lufc
Looks like a white supremacist badge #lufc— nick Jackson (@dennis118118) January 24, 2018
The club released a statement this morning, saying "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." It also stated further information will be released on how supporters can get involved in the process next week.
Managing director Angus Kinnear had already indicated the club will reconsider switching to the new badge, which was set to be introduced for the 2018-19 season.
He confirmed that he expected the crest would cause debate "and may be controversial", but "we’ve been overwhelmed by the feedback."
He says the process "wasn’t extensive enough and we need to seek further consultation with our fans as we don’t want to do anything that the majority of the fanbase don’t believe in."
He’s right. Football clubs are in a unique position, where the fans dictate what happens. Essentially with no fans, there’d be no football clubs. And with the number of people signing a change.org petition to 'stop LUFC from implementing the 'Leeds Salute' crest', saying it "makes a mockery of Leeds United and the club’s history", it's a response that should be listened to.
How the new crest came about
Leeds United says it had consulted with many supporters since last summer about the new crest design through digital surveys, one-on-one group interviews and meetings with current players, club staff, the owner and representatives from the Leeds and Yorkshire communities. After 100 years of the club, it seemed the fans were ready for "a new era".
"It is also clear that the current crest represents a turbulent and largely unsuccessful period in the club’s history," it published on a website dedicated to the unveiling of the crest.
One notable change was to update the crest’s abbreviation of the club name from LUFC to simply Leeds United. The club has also undergone 10 symbol changes throughout its 100 year history, and there has been 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," the website states.
This paved the way for the club to branch out, celebrate the fans (with the salute symbol) and "say who we are with pride."
"Over the decades, the salute has been an expression of the passion that connects players and fans, on and off the pitch. It is used extensively, notably on match days during the Club’s famous song ‘Marching on Together’, and it is a symbol that instantly connects fans all over the world," Leeds United explains.
Although the new crest may embody that, the unfortunate white-washed colour palette and retro style has been compared to medicine packaging and even, white supremacy.
Some people on Twitter have already taken to inserting the new logo design among other Shutterstock templates, and it admittedly doesn’t look too out of place.
Although, this is what actually comes up when you type 'soccer badge' into Shutterstock.
Leeds United has around 10 million fans around the world, according to its managing director.