Our final Christmas Statement
22 Dec 2014
T’was a few nights before Christmas, and all through the ‘Shire
A clip art lion caused cringing; it really was dire
An announcement was coming, uploaded with care
A victory for history – next year, the Loggerheads will be there
This small piece will be the campaign’s third and final Christmas statement.
It has certainly been an important year in the struggle to restore our identity and one which will end in fittingly glorious circumstances. What follows is a brief and chronological summary of 2014 and a description of how Shrewsbury Town fans managed to restore the beloved Loggerheads.
2014 began relatively quietly. The previous year had ended with the club’s botched ‘Legends Card’ initiative which – paradoxically – was intended to celebrate our club’s history and yet involved an irrelevant clip art lion on the membership card. The irony was not lost on many!
The sad departure of the legendary Graham Turner – the club’s most successful ever manager – at the end of January dominated discussion for several weeks. Assistant Manager Mike Jackson was appointed as his replacement with disappointing consequences.
In February, a campaign representative emailed STFC and asked for an update about the proposed ‘re-branding’ and whether it had been discussed at Board Level. The terse response stated that: ‘there may be a change in branding, though it will not come as the result of a campaign, but as a result of consultation with all supporters’. This proved to be the case in the months ahead – although the idea that the club would have itself initiated a change of badge without the presence of a campaign is highly unlikely.
As Salop continued to slide towards a timid and loanee-inspired relegation from League One, there was a crucial development at the New Meadow which ultimately inspired the return of the Loggerheads. Following a meeting in late February, it was announced that a Supporters’ Parliament was to be created as a vehicle for representing the opinions and concerns of Town fans. Loosely modelled on a similar concept at Wolverhampton Wanderers, the ‘SP’ (as it became affectionately known) was to emerge as an invaluable weapon in the fight to restore a crest befitting of our identity.
On 14th May, a meeting was called in the Arthur Rowley Suite for supporters to discuss a potential ‘re-brand’ at STFC. Before attending this meeting, the campaign collected opinions from dozens of Town fans before presenting them to SP chairmen Mike ‘Trigger’ Davis and Roger ‘Rog’ Groves. The consensus on the messageboards and on social media was unanimous: fans wanted an immediate removal of the clip art lion and the return of the Loggerheads. And they would get it within only a few months.
The conclusion of May’s meeting was that the newly-formed Supporters’ Parliament would coordinate a historic vote amongst Shrewsbury Town supporters asking them simply to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a potential badge change. It was decided that there would be no neutral ‘I don’t care’ option; for why would someone take the time to vote on an issue which didn’t interest them? A club official present during the meeting made it absolutely clear that there was no minimum sample required and that the majority verdict would triumph once and for all. The voting was open for a three month period and was to close at the end of August 2014.
The BBTL campaign responded to this unique opportunity by launching its ‘Vote YES’ drive and the results were astonishing. There were 1171 votes in total (including one petty abstention by a supporter with presumably too much time on his hands) and a whopping 91.5% were in favour of removing the clip art lion. The handful of people who had voted ‘no’ had been outfought and outnumbered. The return of the Loggerheads was edging ever nearer.
The vote concluded at the end of August, and September arrived. With the vote results yet to be announced and the champagne well and truly on ice, a worrying ‘Word on the Street’ thread emerged on the Blue-and-Amber messageboard. The whistle-blower – an individual with a proven reputation for posting correct rumours – suggested that the club were set to veto the results and persist with the ‘hated’ clip art lion. This sparked strongly-worded responses from many supporters who were deeply concerned that the club might disregard the landslide results of a legitimate and democratic vote.
It has been suggested that the volatile nature of the B&A thread might just have deterred STFC from making a ‘suicidal’ error of judgement. In truth, no one will ever know what went on behind the scenes on that fateful Tuesday morning and what might have happened without the aforementioned thread. One thing is for certain, though. The Supporters’ Parliament were involved throughout and made the crucial negotiations with club officials.
Within 24 hours of the thread first appearing on B&A, an official announcement was made in which STFC delivered the news we had waiting for. The article stated that – following the sterling work of the Supporters’ Parliament – it was now their ‘intention to launch a new crest incorporating the Loggerheads’. It was a spine-tingling moment for those involved with the campaign and the vote process; the mood on social media was euphoric as many fans toasted a hard-fought victory for our club’s heritage.
Throughout the day, the campaign received many plaudits but also some criticism for the ‘robust’ way it dealt with club apologists since our inception. Whilst we accept that we could have engaged more diplomatically at times, it is worth pointing out that constantly correcting myths and fallacies can be a very frustrating experience which can sometimes lead to heated exchanges. As the below screenshot exemplifies, a minority of Town fans would speak with an air of authority on a subject on which they clearly had no knowledge – e.g. copyright. Such claims were detrimental to the Loggerheads cause and needed to be tackled head-on. We make no apologies for this.
On the day that the vote results were upheld and a new badge confirmed, something peculiar happened on social media. Even those who had previously opposed a change of badge – and, in some cases, expressed a diehard preference for the clip art lion – posted celebratory ‘yes! We did it!’ style messages on Twitter. U-turns of such magnitude were so large that they could have seen from space.
The next and penultimate phase was for the shortlisting of appropriate designs – one of which would ultimately become the badge of Shrewsbury Town FC. The Supporters’ Parliament carried on their magnificent and diligent work by arranging a meeting at the Prince of Wales public house to discuss what supporters wished to see in a new crest. The meeting itself was attended by over a dozen fans from various organisations including ShrewsTRUST and Bring Back The Loggerheads.
It emerged that the club had insisted on a new badge being circular (for logistical and convenience purposes) and – as such – the Supporters’ Parliament had to compromise. The campaign’s preference was always to restore the iconic 2007 shield in all of its glory; but there is no shame in accepting a circular alternative which encompasses all of the elements of the original badge. The return of the ‘shield’ shape may well be a battle for another day…
Fans were given then given the opportunity to vote on the 4 designs shown below. Some fans voiced concern that the designs were essentially exactly the same aside for minor aesthetic differences in terms of text colouring and the positioning of 1886. This is a fair observation but it must be remembered that each of the shortlisted designs incorporated the essential elements of our club’s identity and seem to have pleased the majority of supporters.
And so it came to pass that, on 20th December 2014, Shrewsbury Town Football Club revealed the new badge which will be in place from the 2015/16 season. The unveiling of a new badge was a proud day for the many hundreds of Town fans who have backed the return of the Loggerheads in recent years. It also vindicated many of the campaign’s positions whilst simultaneously dispelling the myths often put forward by ill-informed club apologists.
As the new badge flashed up on the club’s official website, it was clear that some fans had been proven spectacularly wrong. There was never any ‘ban’ from Shropshire Council on the club using the Loggerheads, nor was there a magic trademark clause stopping STFC from using the Loggerheads in a triangular formation. The latter was a claim from a club employee who should, frankly, have known better.
Just as the campaign maintained throughout, a change of badge was desired by vast swathes of supporters and could be implemented quickly without bankrupting the club or sending us tumbling into the abyss of non-league football. Those who touted such nonsense have – in the wake of the new badge being confirmed – been conspicuous by their absence. Their silence speaks volumes.
After nearly eight long years, we will once again have a badge which reflects our club’s proud history, heritage and identity. There are many fans who will now be able to step foot inside the club shop again and part with their hard-earned cash. There is little doubt that the club’s decision to reinstate the Loggerheads will be an investment and one which carries real benefits – both in terms of its dignity and also its ability to sell official merchandise. Most importantly, though, many Shrewsbury fans will now feel more of an affinity with their club.
The Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign is steadfastly proud of its achievements over the past two and a half years and fiercely appreciative of those who supported us.
We are also grateful to our formidable allies at the Blue & Amber Fanzine, ShrewsTRUST and the Supporters’ Parliament for championing the return of the Loggerheads and for playing an active role in its momentous return. God bless you all.
A very Merry Christmas to all Shrewsbury Town fans. Here’s hoping for promotion to League One under Micky Mellon and – most importantly – a happy and healthy 2015.
Brought Back The Loggerheads
Victory: 91.5% vote to change badge!
4 Sept 2014
Yesterday evening, on Wednesday 3rd September 2014, the results of the STFC Badge Vote were officially announced by the Supporters’ Parliament. It was a landslide – and a historic victory for common sense, fan opinion and the identity of Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
The result – as many had predicted beforehand – was emphatic and saw 91.5% of 1171 respondents vote in favour of removing the infamous clip art lion logo. The 8 and a half per cent who inexplicably voted ‘no’ were comprehensively out-thought, out-battled and outnumbered at the ballot box. A full breakdown of the result can be found below:
There was, bizarrely, one recorded abstention as a Town fan took the time to modify and submit a paper voting slip which included a third option of ‘not bothered’. A somewhat childish gesture which was thankfully in isolation. Why would anyone feel the need to officially abstain from a vote on a subject which they don’t care about? The mind boggles!
The reasons to vote ‘YES’ had been well-documented throughout the voting process and indeed over the past 28 months. Those advocating the return of the Loggerheads badge pointed to core emotive and intrinsic elements of being a lower-league football supporter: history, heritage, pride and passion.
While these qualities are very difficult to quantify from a data or financial perspective, they are – to many – as important an issue as whether the team gets 3 points on a Saturday afternoon. After all, on-the-pitch success is only ever temporary. A club’s identity, if safeguarded, can last forever.
Despite a handful of naysayers resorting to banal commentary (‘it’s what’s on the pitch that counts…’ and ‘it’s only a badge at the end of the day…’) a favourable result was always likely. It should not be forgotten that the clip art lion, hastily introduced in May 2007, first caught Town fans off-guard. It was unveiled in the latter stages of a frantic, another-unsuccessful-trip-to-Wembley play-off final season and just a few weeks shy of the club’s ground-breaking move to a soulless new stadium.
It is excellent to see that supporters have now, seven years later, seized the opportunity to remove it with both hands. A near-permanent source of embarrassment to our football club has been unanimously consigned to the dustbin of history.
There are undoubtedly three main architects of this astonishing victory. Credit must firstly be given to the club’s new Chief Executive, Matt Williams, for his role in this triumph. Having arrived from ailing Blackpool FC, Williams seems to have shaken club officials out of their collective malaise and recognised that our club’s identity actually matters to many people. It is a welcome change from the old days in which certain club employees derided such sentiments over the internet…
The newly-formed Supporters’ Parliament have also been magnificent throughout the past four months. It was they who reached an agreement with the club, devised a plan of action, collected votes (both online and outside the stadium) and finally audited the results to ensure fairness and transparency. Sterling individuals – Mike, Roger, Glyn and Ollie – have worked tirelessly to ensure the vote ran smoothly and deserve huge applause. The SP – as it’s affectionately known – is still in its infancy but has achieved an enormous coup by facilitating the removal of the clip art lion. It goes to show that an independent organisation can communicate with its football club and deliver the best outcome for supporters.
And finally, the third architect: the hundreds of Shrewsbury Town supporters who have backed the Loggerheads and refused to accept the corporate logo. A sincere Thank You to every man, woman and child who fought for our club’s identity by voting ‘YES’ over the past three months. And those who signed our original petition back in 2012. And those who generously donated to our banners. And those who wore t-shirts, stickers and iron-on badges. And those who donned the Loggerheads on a match-day or around the Town. And those who constantly argued in defence of our identity on messageboards and social media. And those who kept the faith; and those who never surrendered.
They took our badge, but they could never break our spirit.
As for the next steps: the Badge Vote result will be confirmed by the club at a Board Meeting next Wednesday. STFC will then release a statement of its intentions and ‘Stage 2’ (the implementation of a new badge) will commence. It is great to see the response this news has generated on social media and forums, and long may it continue.
To win this decisive vote by a whopping 91.5% paves the way for the long-awaited return of the famous Loggerheads. It will involve working closely with the Supporters’ Parliament and STFC officials – but rest assured that we will get there and restore a badge which reflects our club’s proud history, heritage and identity.
Floreat Salopia. Bring Back The Loggerheads.
Badge Vote 2014: The Final Hurdle
15 June 2014
After seven long years, there has been a very significant and welcome development in the battle for the return of our true club badge. The newly-formed Supporters’ Parliament have been tasked by Shrewsbury Town Football Club with conducting a vote amongst all supporters.
The vote – which will run up until late August – will be a simple one with voters being asked the following question:
The rules, thankfully, are simple. The club have stipulated that there is no ‘minimum’ number of voters required and that the majority decision will prevail. So – if only 100 people voted and 51 respondents answered ‘YES’; that would be enough to facilitate the long-overdue removal of the club’s irrelevant clip art badge ahead of the 2015/16 season.
In order to vote, fans will need to provide their unique Supporter Number so that club officials can conduct a mini-audit of the results and discount any duplicate or fraudulent voting. This might seem slightly over-officious, but the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign fully understands the need for this process. Importantly, it rules out any possibility of the club turning around in the future and disqualifying the vote result on the basis of perceived foul-play. The result will truly be decisive.
While confident of a resounding victory, we need all Shrewsbury Town supporters to mobilise and cast their YES vote. Since the campaign emerged in 2012, we have engaged with literally hundreds upon hundreds of passionate Salop fans and we know that the strength of feeling is unanimously behind the return of our famous Loggerheads.
There has been a noticeable decline in online opposition from club apologists over recent months, and it is obvious to all that the vast majority of STFC supporters view the Loggerheads as the club’s true badge. It is vitally important that the STFC Badge Vote 2014 reflects this; and that we also have a turnout which is proportional to the level of interest in our club badge. 1000 votes (roughly a quarter of our average home attendance) is the aim.
So, how does one vote? You can vote securely online through the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BadgeVote
Alternatively, paper voting slips will also be included in Season Ticket wallets for those without internet access. Fans who cannot find their 8-digit Supporter Number can contact Shrewsbury Town directly (01743 289177) and they’ll let you know. Under 16’s are encouraged to use the Supporter Number of the adult they attend with. The vote has been designed to ensure that everyone can have their say on this important issue, and rightly so.
A successful outcome in the Badge Vote will ensure that the Supporters’ Parliament can progress to Stage Two; the designing and implementation of a Loggerheads crest befitting of our club’s history, heritage and identity. By this time next year, it is likely that the clip art lion will have been consigned to the dustbin of history and that STFC will have recouped a large chunk of the identity it casually binned following the move to the New Meadow.
The time is now. Please VOTE YES without delay and help us clamber over this final hurdle.
No Surrender. Floreat Salopia.
It’s Christmas – and we’re still Ho-Ho-Hoping for Loggerheads
22 Dec 2013
Season’s Greetings to all Salopians. As the curtain comes down on yet another year of pro-Loggerheads sentiment, we are still waiting for Shrewsbury Town Football Club to give us back our badge.
Despite the club’s abject failure to reinstate the Loggerheads, the campaign has been on an upward trajectory. A quick glance around the New Meadow concourses indicates that more and more people are opting to wear the Loggerheads on a match-day. Hundreds of Town fans – both young and old – can be seen wearing ‘retro’ merchandise in the form of old shirts, coats, scarves and bobble hats. Even those at the stadium in an official capacity, i.e. stewards, wear the famous old badge with pride. We salute each and every single one of you!
While this success cannot be quantified by evidence or statistics, it is the purest way of sending a message to the club and reclaiming a sorely-missed piece of our identity. We pledged that 2013 would be remembered as The Year of The Loggerheads and this aim has been achieved – albeit unofficially!
Conversely, the presence of the club’s new pin-striped strip is lacking in comparison. You will be lucky to spot a handful on the terraces, and this can be attributed to numerous factors: a poor design, the Open Day fiasco in which no shirts were ready for general sale and – of course – the infamous clip art lion. We firmly believe that Shrewsbury Town fans no longer wish to spend their hard-earned cash on clip art merchandise – and who can blame them? One member of the blue-and-amber messageboard hit the nail on the head when he remarked: ‘I have no desire to wear a shirt which fails to reflect who we are’.
Many of those that have purchased the new shirt (usually with the habitual and commendable intention of boosting club coffers) have immediately contacted The Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign to arrange purchase of an iron-on badge. For just £2 and a two-minute blast of a hot iron, Town fans have been able to restore the Loggerheads to modern shirts. The end results have been superb and have enabled fans to conceal the clip art crest with ease. While originally the brainchild of a loyal Town fan exiled in Stuttgart, we are proud of the volume we have shifted in the past 12 months or so. By our estimations, there must be upwards of 250 in circulation which is testament to the popularity of the Loggerheads badge and, incidentally, more than Hereford United manage to get through the turnstiles.
This year has also marked the inception of the ‘Legend’s Card’ initiative from Shrewsbury Town Football Club. The idea seems to have stemmed from a Town fan posting on Facebook; he created a few mocked-up images which gave an impression of what it would like if STFC decorated our stadium with banners of our greatest ever players and so forth. The response was very positive. Many fans were hopeful that this undertaking could add identity to what is generally regarded as a soulless stadium. In August – in a typically badly-punctuated article on its official website – STFC launched the Legend’s Card scheme.
The premise was simple: pay £20.00 per year and contribute towards a project which will ‘celebrate the club’s history’ and ‘create a sea of blue and amber memories’. Despite the obvious irony of such rhetoric coming from a club who – lest we forget – replaced its true badge with clip art under pseudo-commercial justification, the scheme sounded just the job.
However, several reservations were apparent right from the word “go”. The Legend’s Card itself features the clip art lion, which surely contradicts the very purpose of a project which is designed to champion our identity. In essence, it’s a bit like sticking a picture of a Big Mac on a gym membership card. Or an image of Brian Blessed on a can of Gillette shaving foam.
Some fans were also concerned as to the club’s financial motivations. During a Supporters’ Group meeting at the New Meadow several weeks before the scheme was unveiled publicly, one beleaguered club official insinuated that just 30% of the monies raised would go towards the project itself. The angry response from those present was enough for the club to backtrack and set the financial proportions at an acceptable 70%. By this stage, and in the eyes of many supporters, the damage had been done…
While the club may have botched its attempt to celebrate our identity, ShrewsTRUST have pulled it off with flying colours after their creation of the ‘fans’ shirt’ – a garment made for the fans, by the fans! Featuring the much sought-after combination of thick blue and amber stripes and the Loggerheads crest, the shirt has been a resounding success so far and has sold like hot cakes. At £27 a pop (or £29 for non-Trust members) the shirt is also extremely well priced and is a genuine alternative to the clip art gear being sold in the club shop. The author of this article has purchased one and, having seen it in the flesh, I can vouch for the quality of its material and that it uses the right shade of amber – which is a perennial worry amongst Shrewsbury Town supporters!
Whilst it does seem slightly farcical that a group of fans have had to resort to commissioning their own replica shirts, such is the club’s inability to get things right, the end result is a triumph for both our heritage and for our pals at ShrewsTRUST.
Click the below picture for info on how to order. It really is a thing of beauty.
During the summer, a representative from the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign attended a fans’ forum at the stadium in order to ask the club whether it could provide a date for the restoration of the club’s true badge. As explained in the August update, the club declined to do so. What they did say is that they would look into the possibility of producing a “retro range” of Loggerheads merchandise in the club shop, but would have to investigate (fictitious) copyright obstacles before doing so.
Regrettably, we are six months down the line and absolutely nothing has happened in terms of the club returning the Loggerheads to club shop shelves. Whacking the old crest on a scarf/polo-shirt couldn’t be any simpler and it would have facilitated a mutually-beneficial arrangement between the club and its supporters. The fans could buy merchandise which actually represents who we are, and the club could receive an additional stream of income.
The delay in action has been made worse by the discovery of the below ‘onesie’ jumpsuit which is now available for purchase – is stuff like this really the priority…?
The concept of ‘identity’ in modern football is becoming more and more of a mainstream discussion, as per the ongoing developments at Hull City AFC. Hull’s Chairman, Egyptian-born businessman Assem Allam, has announced that he intends to change Hull City’s name to Hull Tigers in an attempt to appeal to international audiences. Allam has made a string of PR gaffes in recent months; he has described Hull’s century-old identity as ‘lousy’, branded critics of the re-branding as ‘hooligans’ and commented that his opponents ‘can die as soon as they want’.
Allam’s sinister intentions resulted in Hull fans parading a large ‘We Are Hull City’ banner at their home match against Crystal Palace. The stewards – no doubt acting under orders – piled in and a tug-of-war ensued, which they promptly lost. Cheers erupted around the stadium and genuine football fans raised a smile while watching the clip on YouTube.
Whilst we are totally behind the No To Hull Tigers campaign – and wish them all the success in the world – the developments up north prove that our campaign is not alone in facing opposition and apathy from club apologists. Having read comments on the subject from Hull fans, it is abundantly clear that the bulk of their supporters oppose Allam’s ridiculous plans and wish to remain as Hull City AFC.
It is also clear that some within their ranks are happy to shrug their shoulders and defend the indefensible, just as we have seen in regard to the Loggerheads issue. In mid-December, the Hull Daily Mail ran a poll which was answered by nearly 3500 Hull City supporters. While a whopping 69% of respondents said they wanted the club to retain its full name, 31% were either ‘in favour’ of Allam’s proposals or simply ‘didn’t care’.
Think about it. 1 in 3 respondents are unopposed to the systematic destruction of a club’s proud identity. Thankfully, such people are comprehensibly outnumbered but it does raise broader questions about the mentality of the modern football fan, and the struggle such campaigns face to achieve their desired outcomes.
There is an alarming similarity between some of the comments made in relation to the Hull City name issue, and some of the comments which have been made with regard to the return of the Loggerheads. A quick scan of the Hull Daily Mail comment section reveals plenty of apologism from ‘fans’ seemingly hell-bent on justifying the desecration of a club’s heritage:
- ‘Allam has been right in everything he has done so far… credit to him’
- ‘I’m glad Mr Allam is doing things his way’
- ‘Tigers Till We Die sounds much better’
- ‘There seems little point in continuing the debate on this issue… Your views will be duly noted and then disregarded’
- ‘Its (sic) a name change get over it’
- ‘The big majority have more important things in life then get into a tantrum over a name change’
- ‘Let Mr Allam do what he wants, it’s his money’
- ‘Hull city,hull tigers it makes no difference to me i will still be a loyal supporter of my local PREMIER LEAGUE team through thick and thin. people need to move into the future and not live in the past’.
Sound familiar? Such musings are reminiscent of the sporadic opposition we have encountered since early 2012; the core platitudes of ‘get over it’, ‘the players are all that matter’ and ‘it’s only a badge at the end of the day’. All total rubbish. All comments that have been challenged and countered time and time again. And yet they still crop up occasionally, especially from Twitter trolls who are prepared to spend several hours discussing an issue which they, apparently, do not care about!
If Mr Allam ever arrived at STFC and suggested a similar re-branding, we would oppose him vehemently. The apologists, just as they have done during the badge issue, would undoubtedly turn a blind eye and allow it to happen.
The events at the KC Stadium should serve as an inspiration to us at Shrewsbury Town – supporters CAN be galvanised en masse to fight for their club’s identity. However, the above poll indicates that wherever you are and however important the subject, there will always be a minority of apologists waiting in the shadows for the opportunity to announce that ‘they don’t care’. We’ve seen it with the Hull City rebrand, the Everton badge uproar, the Newcastle opposition to Mike Ashley and in the emergence of the Cardiff Red Dragons franchise. Some will voice their objection and take action. Others will sit there passively and deride them for doing so.
The important thing is to keep the faith, to carry on waving the Loggerheads flag with pride and to – above all – never give up. Our day will come.
Here’s to a Merry Christmas for all Town fans, and a healthy, happy 2014.
August Update: The campaign rages on
18 August 2013
It’s been a while since we updated our website (which coincidentally has now received over 10,000 hits!) but that’s not to say that the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign has taken its foot off the gas in recent times.
We have had a busy few months, and firmly believe that the return of the Loggerheads is nearer than ever before.
On July 18th, a representative of the campaign attended a Supporters’ Group Meeting at the New Meadow. We would like to thank Shrewsbury Town Football Club for allowing us to participate in the discussions, and for being welcoming. The meeting was our opportunity to reaffirm the widespread preference amongst Salop fans for a return of the Loggerheads, and to ask whether there is any time scale for the long-awaited re-branding. The club declined to provide one.
We also asked about the possibility of seeing “retro” Loggerheads merchandise stocked in the club shop. We know for a fact that there is demand for this and that STFC are losing out on potential income as a result of not catering for it. In a confusing turn of events, a club official stated that producing “retro” items may not be possible due to “copyright reasons”.
This seemed very contradictory as we have been previously led to believe that the club could not copyright the Loggerheads shield hence its removal in 2007. This issue needs clarifying. After all, how can there be unspecified “copyright issues” relating to a badge which, supposedly, cannot be copyrighted?!
There was a general feeling in the meeting that the mudslinging between ourselves, the club and its apologists should end. We agree with these sentiments and hope to positively engage with STFC in the upcoming months.
In the aftermath of the Supporters’ Forum, ShrewsTRUST officially pledged their support to our campaign. We are delighted with this development and look forward to working with them to facilitate the return of a badge which reflects the history, heritage and identity of Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
We would urge all pro-Loggerheads supporters to join the Trust. After all: together, we are stronger.
In recent weeks, we have also been nobly supported by patriots from the Blue-and-Amber messageboard. Our latest fundraising attempts received over £300 in generous donations, and we were able to purchase a new screen-printed banner which will hang permanently inside the New Meadow. The feedback has been very positive, and thank you to all who contributed.
We have also restocked our popular iron-on Loggerheads patches to enable shirt-wearing fans to conceal the clip art crest. Despite the latest Shrewsbury Town kit fiasco (with lengthy delays in the availability of home shirts…) we have already shifted 40 iron-on badges at cost price, and expect to sell dozens more.
Finally, we were delighted to receive a bit of national coverage in July’s edition of FourFourTwo magazine. Passionate Town supporter – and all-round wordsmith – Tom Davies included the Loggerheads in his answers about Shrewsbury Town’s chances this season. Thank you Tom. Excellent work!
Overall, while there have been a number of positive developments since our June update, it is imperative that we keep the pressure on. We are edging ever nearer to seeing the Loggerheads return to Shrewsbury shirts, and can all play a part in this.
Floreat Salopia. No surrender!
Relocation Dissertation: Our Response
06 June 2013
Recently, Northumbria University student Rory Mitchinson completed his seventy-thousand word dissertation titled The Repercussions of Relocation in Lower-League English Football.
We found it extremely interesting and would like to thank Rory for returning to the blue-and-amber messageboard in order to share his findings.
His painstaking work on this subject concluded that, sadly, many Town fans are of the opinion that the club’s identity has been eroded since the move to the New Meadow. We concur with this.
It also highlighted that there are still strong feelings about the senseless removal of the club’s traditional Loggerheads badge and its clip art lion replacement. Despite apologist claims that “it’s only a badge”, Rory’s detailed survey found that Shrewsbury Town fans regard a club crest as the second most important thing in constituting our identity. Excellent stuff.
While conducting research into his topic, Rory paid a visit to Shrewsbury and had a chat with a club official and a representative of the OSC – the transcript of which appears between pages 166-193. We have to take issue with a number of things which they said in relation to the badge issue and our on-going campaign.
Comments from the STFC official:
1) “From reading between the lines, it was [about] the club having ownership of the badge to prevent copyright [breaches].”
This is partially correct as the “we need it for copyright reasons” excuse was one of the reasons put forward by the club way back in 2007. Unfortunately, he neglects to point out that more knock-off merchandise is being produced now than ever before. A quick check on eBay will show that hawkers can easily replicate the clip art lion on a whole host of things including car stickers, fridge magnets, phone cases, mugs, hats and flags. And they’re able to do so quite freely.
There’s also the story of street-sellers peddling clip art goods directly outside the stadium – in full view of stewards who simply shrugged their shoulders and told bemused fans “there’s nothing we can do”. It is clear that the club do not bother to enforce the majority of incidences in which the logo is reproduced unofficially. Nor should they be expected to, what’s the point of threatening someone with court action over a pin badge which will ultimately sell for about 99 pence?
We are a small lower-league football club with a loyal fan base of five-and-a-half thousand, not a billion dollar giant like Manchester United who have to safeguard against knock-off goods being sold overseas. In summary, we were led to believe that the arrival of the clip art lion would magically stop the sale of all unofficial products. This hasn’t happened and, in all honesty, it was never really possible anyway.
2) “They couldn’t copyright that [the Loggerheads] ‘cause it’s the badge of the county.”
Not true at all – smoke and mirrors springs to mind. If you do your research, you’ll discover that there are many Football League clubs in the UK who have been able to copyright crests which feature their heraldic county emblems. The likes of Newcastle, Barnsley, Peterborough, Blackpool, Coventry, Bury, Exeter and Accrington Stanley have all done this without any difficulty. Why should we be any different?
3) “There’d obviously be a financial implication [to changing the badge] because you’d have to change everything in the club, plates etcetera.”
Wrong – and we’ve gone over this point time and time again. When a large company decides to “re-brand” itself, there’s always a changeover period. It can take several years for all traces of an old logo to disappear completely and the same would apply to Shrewsbury Town Football Club. No one would expect the clip art lion to vanish overnight. The badge on the shirt, programme and website could be changed immediately and at no additional cost.
All other pieces of paraphernalia featuring the dreaded logo (such as carpet, ties, stationary and the plates to which you refer) can be phased out gradually. Most of them will have a limited shelf-life anyway and will need to be reordered at some stage due to natural wear and tear. It is an unfortunate fact of life that plates will become chipped and carpet will eventually fray. When the time comes, simply reorder replacements featuring the Loggerheads. Job done.
4) “A lot of new fans now have got used to the lion, the new badge.”
This is a debateable statement. Some of the most passionate supporters of our campaign are “new fans” who have never been fortunate enough to experience a match at the Gay Meadow or see the famous Loggerheads appear on our shirt. Despite this, they can still appreciate the hunger for a badge which adequately reflects our club’s proud history, heritage and identity. The truth of the matter is that, while there are a number of Town fans who simply don’t care about our badge, you’ll be very hard pushed to find anyone who actually likes it – even youngsters. If you have any actual evidence to support this claim, feel free to get in contact and we will respond accordingly.
5) “People who might have been for the Loggerheads badge, so irritated by the constant ‘we must have this’, are saying ‘I’ve changed my opinion and I quite like the new badge.”
We apologise if we have “irritated” fellow Town fans by publicising the badge issue and championing the need to reinstate a sorely missed part of our identity. However, it is nonsense to suggest that people who were previously in favour of an iconic crest (which has been associated with our club since 1907) will suddenly change their opinion because of a few posts on a messageboard. It’s plausible that a couple of Town fans have become weary of the badge-related discussion, but it is still highly unlikely that they will ever develop an affinity with what is primarily a piece of clip art downloaded from the internet.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign has never been stronger: it was only a few days ago that we were able to raise nearly £300 in very quick time for a new banner thanks to generous pledges from members of the blue-and-amber messageboard.
6) “The club get promoted in the summer and all the fans want to talk about is changing the badge, and it’s just like – what?!”
Funnily enough, there’s more to supporting a lower-league football club than results and on-the-pitch success. A club’s soul, its identity and the feeling of being part of something is equally important to many football supporters, which is precisely why hundreds of Cardiff City fans have mobilised themselves despite a landmark promotion to the Premier League.
The actual timing of our petition was significant as for years we’d been patronisingly told by club officials that “you’ll grow to love the new badge after a bit of success”.
Here we were – on the back of an incredible season – and yet many of our fans were still determined to fight for the return of a much-loved emblem. That should tell you everything you need to know about the strength of feeling surrounding this issue.
Comments from OSC representative:
7) “Has the Loggerheads situation come mostly off blue-and-amber? There’s two or three guys there and they are hell-bent on getting the Loggerheads back.”
It’s true that the campaign originated on B&A following years of debate on the subject, but we can assure you that there are far more than “two or three guys” who share our passion for the return of a badge which adequately reflects our club’s precious identity.
8) “I would say no [to a return of the Loggerheads] because so much has got to change around here, the logos behind the scenes…”
Not necessarily. As we’ve explained in our earlier response to the STFC official (answer #3) the claim that our club “would have to spend loads in reordering everything” is a red herring and has no substance. All we ask is that STFC change the badge on our shirt, programme and website. All other clip items can be gradually replaced with Loggerheads equivalents when they inevitably succumb to wear and tear, even if it takes several years.
9) “I think I’m right in saying that the financial implications involved with it outweigh having the Loggerheads back.”
No, this is incorrect. The cost of reinstating a Loggerheads-based badge would be peanuts in the grand scheme of things and would certainly cost nowhere near the ludicrous estimates put forward by certain STFC employees. To put it into perspective, the “re-branding” process could probably be completed for a cost equivalent to a player’s wages for three months. The opportunity to restore some of our heritage wouldn’t cost the earth or be in any way detrimental to the size of Graham Turner’s playing budget.
There’s also a strong case for suggesting that the club would eventually recoup any initial outlay through increased sales of official merchandise. We conducted a survey amongst 100 respondents of our petition and nearly 70% stated that they would spend more in the club shop were the Loggerheads to return. We know of many people – several dozen in fact – who haven’t purchased anything from the club shop since 2007 due to disliking the new logo and what it symbolises. There’s also no risk of any change alienating people who currently buy replica merchandise as, frankly, if you’re willing to purchase clip art gear you’ll wear anything.
10) A “large minority” want the Loggerheads back.
During the course of the discussion, the OSC representative referred to Town fans wanting a return of the Loggerheads as being in a “large minority”. On the contrary, we firmly believe that we are the majority. Wanting a football badge to reflect your identity as a club isn’t some unusual phenomenon or unheard of concept.
There are many clubs in recent years that have made changes to their official club crest in line with the wishes of their supporters: Swindon, Northampton, Macclesfield, Bolton, Chelsea and most recently Everton. We’re hoping we can add Shrewsbury Town to that list in the very near future and would politely suggest that it is actually the club apologists who find themselves vastly outnumbered.
Ultimately we think it’s very admirable that Rory received a warm Shropshire welcome from two people connected with our proud football club. It’s clear that he found the experience to be both enjoyable and helpful with his studies. However, we couldn’t allow some of the unfounded claims made during this conversation to pass without correction.
One of the reasons we have been stuck with an embarrassing and commercialised clip art crest for over six years is due to certain individuals churning out the same old myths. Citing unspecified “copyright reasons”, along with the flawed idea that STFC would have to instantly replace every single piece of clip art in the stadium, is just an example of misleading excuse making.
Keep the faith lads. Bring Back The Loggerheads!
STFC once again confirm that a future “re-brand” will take place
05 April 2013
During their latest bi-monthly forum with various supporters’ groups, officials at Shrewsbury Town Football Club have once again made reference to a “future” change of club crest. In the below screenshot ‘MJ’ indicates comments made by Mr Martin James, Head of Community Development.
While this is not a new development by any means, the fact that this statement of intent has been repeated is very positive news. It bodes well for the impending removal of the clip art lion and, of course, the restoration of the club’s true Loggerheads emblem.
The Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign would like to publicly thank blue-and-amber moderator Glyn Price for his regular and informative updates from these meetings.
The club should also be reminded that the “badge issue” is NOT going to go away until the bullet has been bitten and the Loggerheads reinstated once and for all.
Season’s Greetings to all Salopians
22 Dec 2012
As Christmas looms ever nearer, the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign would like to extend its warmest wishes to all Shrewsbury Town supporters. May you all enjoy the festive season and have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.
It would be fair to say that the “badge issue” continues to rumble on. In recent months, we have faced renewed hostility for little more than championing the club’s heritage and advocating the return of a badge which reflects our identity. Despite being unequivocal in our support of both Graham Turner and his players, one individual even accused our campaign of “costing the team points” following a series of poor results. Needless to say, we totally reject this ridiculous (and offensive) accusation.
We have also witnessed several comments along the lines of “it’s only a badge, it has never won us games” and “the players are the only thing that matter”. Such remarks, unfortunately, provide an insight into the mentality of the modern football fan where results and league position are all that matter. It is this type of philosophy which has seen Cardiff City – a club formerly known as the “bluebirds” – change its shirt colour for financial gain. While many stalwart Cardiff fans were rightly disgusted at this decision, others were not fazed in the slightest and claimed that selling their club’s soul is a price worth paying for on-the-pitch success. We disagree.
The reality is that, while all supporters are naturally entitled to their own opinion on the club’s current badge, some seem incapable of acknowledging that there is more to a football club than point tallies and goal difference. The debate surrounding the infamous clip art lion has raged consistently for nearly seven months and we are still yet to hear a logical and sustained argument for keeping the current club emblem; every myth and half-truth has been dispelled on the ‘FAQ’ section of our website.
We are all proud Salopians and want to openly wear the shirt of Shrewsbury Town FC. It is a great shame that, currently, many cannot do so due to the presence of a piece of tat lazily downloaded from an online clip art package. Advocating a badge which reflects the history of our football club and beautiful town is not a crime, and nor does it prevent anyone from giving the players their 100% backing.
Merry Christmas all. Floreat Salopia.
“So this is Christmas, and what have you done?”
16 Dec 2012
During the past six months or so, the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign has swung into action. We are proud of the various steps we have taken in advocating a return to a traditional club badge and continue to receive messages of support from other like-minded Shrewsbury fans.
So, what have we actually done? Firstly, a representative from our campaign attended a meeting at the Greenhous Meadow after we sent in the petition containing over 1200 signatures. The club, to their credit, eventually conceded that a change of logo is “probable” having initially defended the clip art badge as being “popular with the kids”. This watery suggestion was frankly laughable. For example, Arsenal’s ‘Gunnersaurus’ mascot is evidently popular with youngsters at the Emirates, but there would be uproar (pun not intended) if it was included within their official club crest. A badge should reflect the history of a football club and not its juvenile mascot.
We are always happy to engage supporters who may not understand the reasons behind our campaign, although it is worth pointing out that to date only one person has emailed us with a query. We responded accordingly and this individual eventually wished us well with our continued efforts.
In addition to communicating directly with STFC, we also raised several hundred pounds in order to purchase a Loggerheads banner featuring the slogan “This Badge is Our Badge”. Our flag has appeared at many home games (including several away fixtures) and has always been well received by Town supporters. We have also sourced and sold several dozen “Bring Back The Loggerheads” t-shirts at cost price as well as distributing iron-on Loggerheads patches to supporters who want to conceal the clip art badge on official merchandise.
Despite a few suggestions to the contrary from Twitter trolls, the people involved with this campaign are all passionate Town supporters who believe that a badge should reflect the club’s identity rather than clip art commercialism. The Loggerheads is an emblem which is synonymous with the history of our proud football club and the Town it represents, let’s have it back once and for all.
Away Supporters FC adopt Loggerheads emblem
15 Dec 2012
Shrewsbury Town’s Away Supporters (ASFC) have opted to include a Loggerheads badge on their new training tops.
Nice work chaps. This is yet another example of Salop fans choosing heritage over clip art and we wish the ASFC all the very best in their endeavours this season.
Poll results: 79% want the Loggerheads on next season’s shirt
09 Dec 2012
An up-to-date poll conducted on Shrewsbury Town’s busiest messageboard has confirmed that a whopping 79.2% of respondents would like to see the Loggerheads emblem appear on next season’s shirt.
We regard this informal survey as a strong reminder of the strength of feeling which still surrounds this issue even after five long years. With a new replica strip due to be unveiled in just under six months’ time, STFC would do well to take heed of the poll’s conclusions.
From a commercial point of view, ignoring the wishes of such a large proportion of supporters will undoubtedly result in less revenue. The message is clear: reinstate the Loggerheads and the sales of official merchandise will rocket upwards.
Loggerheads campaign now on Facebook!
22 Sept 2012
The team behind the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign are pleased to reveal that they now have a Facebook page.
Please click the above picture and be sure to ‘like’ our page, which can also be found via the following link:
Our website smashes 3500 hit mark!
12 Sept 2012
We are delighted to reveal that this website has now received over 3500 hits since its grand unveiling less than one month ago.
The fact that so many have viewed this website in such a short space of time is testament to the outstanding support we continue to receive from many hundreds of Shrewsbury Town supporters.
The Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign would like to publicly thank those who continue to circulate our website link via social media, online forums and through word of mouth.
Keep the faith. Floreat Salopia.
Shrewsbury fan enlists services of embroiderers
20 August 2012
A Town supporter has gone the extra mile in bringing back the Loggerheads after turning to a Warwickshire-based firm of embroiderers.
The skilled individuals at Slant Riggs Embroidery were able to manually unpick the clip art lion logo and add a high quality Loggerheads replacement. The results speak for themselves – excellent work from all involved.
Loggerheads banner makes debut at Bramall Lane
19 August 2012
The campaign’s flag has made its first public appearance, gracing yesterday’s away end at Sheffield United.
We are delighted with the feedback we have received from impressed supporters and hope that the banner’s presence may inspire other Salopians to dig out any merchandise bearing the Loggerheads emblem.
History will always be preferable to clip art!
Fresh coverage in the Shropshire Star
18 July 2012
The Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign has received yet more publicity following a lengthy article which appeared in tonight’s edition of the Shropshire Star.
STFC statement: the Campaign’s official response
17 July 1012
The organisers behind the massively popular Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign have praised Shrewsbury Town Football Club for their positive statement regarding a future re-branding.
The club held a Supporters Group Meeting on July 11 where campaign representative Justin Gill represented the views of the 1150 Town fans from all around the world who signed the online petition to ask for the historic Loggerheads badge to be reinstated.
It has now been indicated that the club would be willing to work with supporters groups in the future to work towards a gradual implementation of a new club brand, including a possible fans’ vote on a new identity.
Spokesman for the group, Sam Morris, said: “It is excellent to see the club listening to a large number of fans and agree to look at a future rebrand.
“A significant number of people have raised issues with the current logo and it is really encouraging to see the club willing to discuss how this can be changed.
“Going forward, we will ensure that the Loggerheads will firmly remain in supporters’ minds until the rebrand occurs and our new ‘This Badge is our Badge’ banner, funded by like minded supporters will help do this.”
The banner, displaying a traditional Loggerheads crest, will be displayed at all home and away games and was paid for by generous donations by supporters on an internet messageboard and it is hoped that it will act as a peaceful reminder as to the strength of feeling regarding the Loggerheads.
Campaign organisers would also like to thank the club’s Community Development Manager, Martin James, for the time he has accorded the group and for inviting them to attend a meeting that is usually purely for recognised supporters groups.
Mr Morris continued: “The work from Martin James is very much appreciated. He has actively pursued the group to give us a voice in the Supporters Group meeting and we are thankful for that.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the club Chairman, Mr. Roland Wycherley, for his many years of fine service to the club and its supporters.”
The group will, over the forthcoming months, introduce other initiatives as a celebration of both the club’s history and its famous badge.
Press release: Shrewsbury Town fans purchase new Loggerheads banner
30 June 2012
As the campaign to get Shrewsbury Town Football Club to reinstate a badge including the historic Loggerheads continues, a group of supporters have purchased a banner showing their support for the original badge.
The campaign started with an online petition which has attracted 1150 signatures and continues to be signed.
For many supporters, the Loggerheads remains synonymous with both the club’s history and the town itself.
The Loggerheads was the first ever badge to appear on an STFC shirt, way back in 1907. The Loggerheads – in one guise or another – have since appeared on the club’s shirts more than any other emblem.
The banner, which has been funded by generous donations from members of the blue-and-amber messsageboard, will serve as a visible reminder that many Shrewsbury fans are unhappy with the current logo and regard the Loggerheads as the club’s rightful badge.
The new badge remains unpopular amongst many Shrewsbury fans due to its lack of relevance to the club’s history and the fact that the lion featured within it has been taken directly from a commercially available Clip Art package.
A spokesman for the campaign said: “This flag will provide a constant reminder that many supporters are deeply unhappy with the current badge and the unprofessional design of it.
“There are no links to the club or town itself and the reintroduction of the Loggerheads emblem would address this.
“We understand that things wouldn’t happen immediately, but a gradual introduction of the Loggerheads would please many of the club’s supporters.”
Loggerheads banner unveiled
29 June 2012
The Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign is delighted to unveil its first banner, ahead of the 2012/13 season.
Funded by generous donations from members of the blue-and-amber messageboard, the flag (pictured below) proudly displays the Loggerheads emblem and will serve as a visible reminder of the badge which many Shrewsbury Town supporters hold close to their hearts.
STFC badge article appears in When Saturday Comes
04 June 2012
A superb piece written by Shrewsbury fan Calum Leahy has appeared in national football magazine When Saturday Comes.
Mr Leahy succeeds in articulating many of the salient facts associated with the Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign, such as the club’s long-standing affiliation with the Loggerheads emblem and the “deeply unpopular” nature of its replacement.
There can be little doubt that WSC is a highly respected publication and that such attention is invaluable to our objective of restoring the Loggerheads badge once and for all. The campaign is more confident than ever before that – within the near future – the Loggerheads will once again adorn the hallowed blue and amber shirt. And rightly so.
Pro-Loggerheads petition nears 1000 signatures, reports the Chronicle
31 May 2012
The newly-founded Bring Back The Loggerheads campaign is once again the recipient of column inches thanks to a piece written by David Seadon in today’s Shrewsbury Chronicle.
It is superb to see so many supporters continuing to sign the petition, especially in the light of the recent bizarre statement from STFC which accused those behind the campaign of “curtailing and demeaning” the club’s recent promotion.
Town fans’ petition publicised in the Shropshire Star
12 May 2012
The desire of many Shrewsbury supporters to return to the historic Loggerheads badge has been documented in a short article which appeared in tonight’s edition of the Shropshire Star.
This inaugural piece of coverage (taken from page 55) includes a description of the ever-growing petition created last week by Town fan Justin Gill. We hope this will be the beginning of a fruitful campaign to remove the clip art lion and once again return to a badge with obvious links to the club’s proud history.