Time for a change to City crest?
David Cuffley The fan who won a £10 prize for designing Norwich City's famous badge today warned Carrow Road bosses: “You won't find a better one than mine.” The Canaries have admitted that replacing the crest created by supporter Andrew Anderson 37 years ago is one of the possibilities being discussed by their “brand identity” working party.
The fan who won a £10 prize for designing Norwich City's famous badge today warned Carrow Road bosses: “You won't find a better one than mine.”
The Canaries have admitted that replacing the crest created by supporter Andrew Anderson 37 years ago is one of the possibilities being discussed by their “brand identity” working party.
But the retired architect, whose design won a competition run by the then Eastern Evening News in 1971, said his artwork would be hard to beat.
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“If I had a ha'penny for every single time I've seen that badge used I would be a millionaire by now. I got £10 and two directors' box tickets for a game!” said 70-year-old Mr Anderson, who now lives at Brandesburton, near Hull, but was previously based at The Close, Norwich.
“All I will say is they will be hard pushed to beat mine because it looks good at any size, whether it's up on the back of the Barclay Stand 15 feet high, on the players' shirts, on TV or even on those tiny badges people wear about a quarter of an inch high.
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“I'll be very surprised if they get anything as good. In fact I'll bet them the £10 I won that they don't find a simpler one.
“Tell them the best of luck but they will be hard put to find a badge better than mine.”
The current badge, which first appeared on City shirts towards the end of 1972, was chosen from nearly 500 entries to the competition. It followed controversy over a badge issued as part of an Esso petrol series, which featured the Norwich coat of arms of a castle and lion, which once appeared on club blazers, rather than the traditional canary on a branch that adorned players' shirts. Geoffrey Watling, club chairman at the time, called for a new design and was one of the judges.
Mr Anderson's badge, which features a canary on a ball and incorporates a stylised version of the coat of arms, has graced three Wembley finals, European ties in Munich and Milan and club tours to China, Malaysia, Scandinavia and the USA, as well as appearing on millions of documents and items of merchandise.
Andrew Cullen, City's director of sales and marketing, said the working party, which includes supporters, had to decide whether the badge promoted the club in the way they wanted.
He said: “We have no deadline for this. It's just for us to have some ideas and proposals if and when the appropriate time comes, but there's no guarantee that anything will change.
“Obviously, the badge has to reflect the heritage of the club, which goes back to 1902. And we need to do that with due care and proper consultation with stakeholders, the most important of whom are, of course, the supporters.
“The canary symbol and the yellow and green have always been constants, whatever the badge has been, and that won't change.
“But we need to have a debate over whether the badge promotes the club in the best way it can in this day and age. You have to adapt to the times.
“Another reason we're holding these discussions is that we need to be vigilant over our Intellectual Property rights in the changing world of new media.
“More people out there are latching on to football club brands and when our club marketing and brand is used, we need to make sure that people know that it has been endorsed by the football club.”
A badge featuring a canary sitting on a branch first appeared on City shirts in the early 1920s, but vanished for about 20 years until it was revived in the late 1940s, until it was replaced by the 1971 version.
Fans voiced their concern over the possible change.
Kathy Blake, secretary of Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, said: “I'm a bit of a traditionalist, so I think it should be left as it is. I'm all in favour of coming up with other ways of promoting the club, but don't change the basics. You often find that things get changed, and then they get changed back a few years later.”
Alex Warren, of Waveney Yellows, said: “I would say, leave it alone. I cannot see what could be achieved by changing it. If there was some financial gain to be had from it, then it might be different. But it's history, and I would not like to see it changed.”
Other clubs to have introduced new badges in recent years include Fulham, Arsenal and Aston Villa.