Heart stopper: Manchester City’s Aussie club Melbourne Heart switch team name… as David Villa heads Down Under

Manchester City’s Australian partner club Melbourne Heart have now fully adopted the City name – but will not be wearing sky blue.

The A-League side have changed their name to Melbourne City FC after Sheikh Mansour added the side to his growing portfolio with a £6million takeover in late January.

And Spain forward David Villa is already on-board – after he joined new MLS franchise New York City earlier this week – but he won’t be wearing blue Down Under after fellow A-League side Sydney FC saw red at the idea of sharing a kit colour.

Manchester City director and CEO of the City Group Ferran Soriano said: “We believe the changes announced today will strengthen the Club’s ties with the community to which it belongs while expanding its ability to grow commercially and harness the many benefits of belonging to the City family.”

Villa will join the club in October and November on loan after he chases the American dream in New York post-World Cup when the next MLS season kicks off in March 2015.

The Spaniard left La Liga champions and Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid last month.

After Sydney’s protest, the club will see their red-and-white-striped home kit become their away uniform with a white shirt and blue stripe becoming their primary shirt and shorts.

The club badge has also changed drawings ‘inspiration from the heritage of Melbourne while celebrating modern day aspects of the Victorian economy, society and environment’.

By incorporating a red cross into the badge, the club have also included a nod to their previous colours.

Melbourne City FC CEO Scott Munn said: “The club has worked hard to create an identity for Melbourne City FC that reflects the traditions of its existing fan base and embraces the many sporting, operational and commercial benefits that are provided by our association with Manchester City FC and New York City FC.”

City will play its first game in its new guise in the first-ever FFA Cup, a knockout competition based on England’s FA Cup, in early August.

Melbourne Heart were formed in 2010/11 and boast former Leeds and Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell among their ranks – although the Aussie star has just hung up his boots to become one of the top brass at the club.

Heart – who play their games at AAMI Park – finished bottom of the A-League table in 2013/14.

They are the second Melbourne-based A League side as the city is also home to rival club Melbourne Victory.

The league has attracted the likes of Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey in recent years as it aims to boost its profile since it launched 2004.

Main image courtesy of Melbourne City FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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