Comment: Football League rebrand will only add to fan disenchantment

The Football League’s announcement that it will be rebranded itself as the American-sounding ‘EFL’ from next season will do little to halt the growing apathy among supporters.

The rebrand has been met with a great degree of scepticism from fans of football league clubs with most unable to see how the change can benefit the English league system.

The Football League, founded in 1888, was so called because it was the first competition of its type in world football but the new title does nothing to recognise this.

The EFL will also have a new logo as part of its rebranding, which has been met with a similarly baffling reaction.

The fourth (and by far the worst) new logo in its 127-year history is meant to be a football made up of three swathes of 24 balls which are supposed to represent the three leagues of 24 teams.

In reality the new logo would not look out of place on the front of a washing up liquid bottle.

One saving grace is that the individual league titles of the Championship, League One and League Two, which were introduced in 2004, will not be altered.

Football league clubs, stakeholders, commercial partners and more than 18,000 fans took part in a consultation process prior to Thursday’s announcement.

The new name will come into use at the start of next season, with the intention of it new name being shortened to the EFL, just as the Premier League is known internationally as the EPL.

However, it is hard to imagine many fans abroad gearing up to watch an ‘EFL’ match between Yeovil Town and Morecambe.

Indeed it seems very much that the rebrand is motivated primarily to increase international viewing figures of Championship games.

Football League chief Shaun Harvey tried to justify the rebrand by saying:

“In an increasingly-challenging global sports market, it is absolutely essential that sports properties can project a modern identity that not only resonates with their regular audience but is also easily recognisable to a broader audience of potential fans, viewers and commercial partners.”

However judging by reaction on social media, it is difficult to see how the ‘modern identity’ resonates with The Football League’s regular audience.

Image courtesy of 3 Minutes Added On via YouTube, with thanks.

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