The Unity fist debate rages on
Iron-Bru.net talks to Iron supporters and the man behind the Shrewsbury Town fan campaign to reinstate their historic loggerhead badge.
Whilst the debate as to whether the Unity fist should be reinstated as the Scunthorpe United badge rages on, one club's fans are currently locked in a battle with their football club to get their true identity back.
In 2007, Shrewsbury Town FC announced that it would be changing badge. The popular Loggerheads crest was removed and replaced by a cartoon lion. The story broke on the club’s official website and within hours fans were pointing out that the lion used on their new crest was actually a piece of clip art downloaded from the internet.
Gary Davies, founder of the campaign, which went viral and received over 1300 signatures tells us, "Many fans have refused to accept this new standalone corporate logo as the club’s badge and discontent has rumbled on for the past six years.
"The Loggerheads is our badge. It has represented the town of Shrewsbury for several hundred years and was also the first badge to appear on our club’s shirts way back in 1907.
"It is our equivalent of Liverpool’s liver bird and should never have been removed"
Davies suggests that there has been little opposition to the campaign, but believes those opposing the return of the club’s true crest do not understand its true meaning.
"They've been saying things like “I don’t care about the badge”, “the team’s results are the only thing that matter” and “what’s done is done, move on".
"Just the classic modern football fan mentality really.
"They need to appreciate that there is far more to a football club than league position and the quality of its players. Heritage, soul and identity are equally important to many fans"
There are several hurdles to overcome before any badge can be changed. Even if Shrewsbury's board do make a u-turn over the decision they made seven years ago, it needs Football League ratification and can become a lengthy process.
Davies offered us a few words on the current Scunthorpe badge, suggesting the current effort "resembled a male imitating a obscene act on an iron bar".
"Your club should reinstate the ‘fist’ emblem as it’s clearly very popular with your fan base as a whole.
"Nowadays, there’s too much interference in the identity of football clubs. Names, shirt colours and badges should be sacrosanct from change or else you’ll end up like the Cardiff Red Dragons.
"They are now a Premier League club but have had to sacrifice their dignity to get there and their success will always be hollow".
Closer to home, new Iron director Dennis Hobson took to Twitter to ask fans what could be done to improve off field at Glanford Park and was bombarded with calls to reinstate the Unity fist last week.
Iron-Bru.net understands that the Iron have estimated a total cost around £16,000 to reinstate the Unity logo and are unlikely to persue such a change during a time when staff are being made redundant and the club are struggling off the field.
The club have revealed a sample of the shirt for next season sporting the 3D logo, however it is understood that it is only a sample and the club have not yet taken stock of a large order.
@sufc2dbadgeback @northwestiron @sufcofficial The shirt is a sample which I was given only have two home and one away just to let you know— michelle harness (@barbaraharness) April 23, 2013
Iron fan Andy Drayton is in favour of the Unity fist returning. He told us: "The Unity fist represents both our town's and our football club's history which is something we should all be proud of.
"In our current situation the club need to prove they value our history and our town and what better way to do it then to restore the badge.
"I'd imagine merchandise sales would treble over night with Unity adorning it"
Max Bell beleives however that money could be better spent elsewhere in the current climate.
"Ensuring the club always has its history and its roots close to its heart is an absolute must", he said."The 5 links symbolising Scunthorpe's 5 forming villages is wonderfully poetic however in these times of cutbacks and redundancies - reinstating the badge seems to me to be a naive way of spending a sizeable whack of cash. "That said, if the vast majority of the fans disagreed with me - and wanted the cash spent to force the change, I'd probably accept it." Iron-Bru.net would like to thank Shrewsbury Town Fan Gary Davies for taking his time to answer our questions.You can find out more on the 'Bring Back the loggerheads' campaign here. We would like to wish Gary and the Shrewsbury fans the best of luck in their quest. We would also like to invite Iron fans to cast their vote on our online poll, which has so far seen over 76% of participants voting in favour of a return to the Unity fist.
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