Melbourne Heart have officially re-badged themselves as Melbourne City FC, with a brand new emblem and a brand new home kit to boot. The name had been public knowledge for some time as the City Football Group (owners of Manchester City and New York City) had bought the club in January this year but the new home kit and logo haven’t been met with total support. On the upside the club did make the re-badging announcement in conjunction with news of David Villa’s signing.
While some fans have greeted the new kit with lukewarm enthusiasm due to the ownership’s discarding of Melbourne Heart/City’s red and white history, the red and white stripes are still in circulation as the club’s away kit. The new emblem, possibly the ownership’s cleverest coup sports a close replication of the city of Melbourne’s flag, encircled by a sky blue ring. Importantly the city of Melbourne flag includes a red and white cross of St George. The red and white aspect of the new emblem no doubt pleasing some fans.
While it is only for a ten week guest player stint the signing of David Villa is massive. The news is not only good for Melbourne City fans but the A-League in general. With the soccer world heading into a World Cup it’s a beautiful thing to have one of Spain’s mainstays announcing his plans to grace the A-League. Villa is expected to play his part for Melbourne City between October and December before heading off to New York City for the MLS.
If there is a loser in all of this, it’s Melbourne Victory. The club whose fans set the platform in the early years of the A-League is now set to be usurped by their city rivals. Regularly referring to the themselves as the biggest club in the competition, it’s likely they’ll no longer be the biggest club in their own state. Melbourne City whom when known as Melbourne Heart I labelled as lacking identity, have now got an identity. City is the child of wealthy and respected parents with a core group of passionate fans that is set to grow with more marquee signings, and that ever so important ingredient – success. Good luck City!