Worst Badges and Crest Redesigns in Football
Leeds United supporters were dumbfounded on Wednesday January 24th when the club’s new crest was unveiled. The club revealed its centenary badge for 2019, and immediately supporters were sickened by the corporate, soulless design company inspired logo. The crest that was presented lacked everything that previous Leeds badges offered, and smacked of a creation by coffee-fueled, ad executives that see more meaning in their lame creations than the team’s iconic past crests.
But Leeds United are not the only professional football club to get a makeover, or as they say in the United States, a re-branding. A number of clubs have attempted to redesign their badges and have fallen flat in doing so. There are some football clubs who have been successful when adopting a new badge. Manchester City’s recent redesign is one that has been a hit. But it seems more often than not badge redesigns do nothing but anger supporters.
Ahead of the 2012-13 football season, Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan changed the club’s colours from blue to red. The club had been around for 114-years before the redesign, but Tan believed changing the colours would lead to more Cardiff City fans in eastern Asia. He also replaced the club’s iconic blue bird badge with a dragon, because the mythical animal has a lot of importance in Asian culture. Every move he made took the club away from its local supporters, and it made Tan a hated figure. Luckily, halfway through the 2014-15 season, Cardiff reverted back to blue as its main colour, and a blue bird inspire badge returned to the shirt.
Most modern Premier League fans would consider Arsenal as having one of the most clean and attractive badges in football. The current Arsenal crest could even be considered iconic. But in 2002 when it debuted, Arsenal supporters were angry with the change. The previous badge was considered a thing of beauty, and to be fair, it really was. However, the club had reportedly had difficulty copyrighting it. This led to unofficial merchandise being sold ad nauseum. Supporters were still upset, mostly because the change was sudden and they weren’t consulted.
Swindon Town’s 1990s crest is a throwback that reeks of the old North American Soccer League. When the team changed to its current design it was met with applaud rather than disdain. Fans had actually had some bad Swindon Town badges until the most recent change. The club’s 1970s badge was famously called the “traffic sign” badge due to its resemblance to roadside signs.
Queens Park Rangers
In 2008, Queens Park Rangers unveiled a new crest that attempted to give the club a grand look. It was created to start a new era at the club as the team was under the ownership of Flavio Briatore. The crest’s design was to take QPR to the global stage, but it didn’t; and neither did the players. A majority of QPR fans hated the redesign, and in May 2016, the club unveiled a new crest that harkened back to the old days.
In 1996, Major League Soccer kicked off in the United States. With its introduction into the American sports landscape came a number of silly team names and ugly badges. Nike had partnered with the league to create America-style team names, and the sportswear giant developed such great ones as the Columbus Crew, Kansas City Wiz, New York/New Jersey Metrostars (what?) and the San Jose Clash. It’s hard to pinpoint which badge is worse, but the Crew’s looks similar to the new Leeds crest. The shirt featured three hunky construction workers looking hard. Some called the Crew’s badge the worst logo in sports. Thankfully, the Crew changed their crest in 2014.