Everton ‘sorry’ in badge controversy

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Everton FC's old badge has been replaced by a new version (right) © Everton FC

Everton’s old badge has been replaced by a new version (right) © Everton FC

Everton FC have apologised for their controversial new crest and announced it will be used for just one season, following an angry backlash by fans.

On a day when the club’s search for a new manager seemed to be closing in on Wigan’s departing boss, Roberto Martinez, the Blues issued an apology on their website, saying they regretted they “didn’t ask every Evertonian about something that matters so much to every one of you” after pressure mounted over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Many social media and fans’ sites gave the new badge an overwhelmingly negative response, with an online petition attracting over 22,000 signatures.

The principle objection was over the removal of the Latin club motto: ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ [nothing but the best is good enough] from the badge design.

Everton have acknowledged the numerous complaints but said that due to the time-constraints of kit suppliers, it means the new version of the club’s badge will be used for the 2013/14 season.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, a keen Evertonian, waded into the row as he called on the club to listen to the supporters’ concerns.

He tweeted: “@Everton look up the word #defile – to treat something sacred or important without respect. Vast majority of fans believe this has happened. @Everton listen to the fans. Badge design poor no NSNO [Nil Satis Nisi Optimum] absolutely out of touch, act now this will not become a popular major mistake.”

The mayor did praise the club for its U-turn today, saying: “It is regrettable that we had to make public our criticism of our Club. However I am proud of their response and honest. COYB #peoplesclub.”

Roberto Martinez © BBC Sport

Everton have been strongly linked with Roberto Martinez as their new manager © BBC Sport

In a message on Everton’s official website, the club said it “remains firm in the belief” that the crest should be ‘modernised’ and, despite dropping the club’s motto from the badge, said they reconsider what they described as “the fundamental statement of belief from our Club”.

Everton CEO Robert Elstone said: “Clearly the weekend’s response has meant that we have reviewed how we went about the whole of the re-design process and whilst many objectives were achieved, we recognised we missed the key part out.”

Mr Elstone said they are turning to the fans to “help shape and refine the badge” they will adopt ahead of the 2014/15 season and beyond.

“Evertonians from all sections of the fan-base will be pulled together in a fully transparent way. This group will conduct an in-depth review of all aspects of past and present club crests. The panel will then develop ideas and put forward suggestions to you. Evertonians will make the final decision.

“We have worked hard over recent years to give our fans a greater sense of involvement in the Club and dialogue flows openly and freely in many areas from the Fans’ Forum, to Supporters’ Clubs and of course, via Everton in the Community. We will ensure the same happens with the future development of your club crest.”

Everton will announce details of how the panel will be comprised and selected “in late summer”.

About Ian Bolland, JMU Journalism