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SBD Global/January 27, 2014/International Football
Man City's Takeover Of Melbourne Heart Could Take A-League To Next Level
Published January 27, 2014
HEART TRANSPLANT: In Sydney, Dominic Bossi reported Melbourne Heart "could undergo a complete facelift during the off-season after Football Federation Australia indicated it would be prepared to discuss a rebranding of the club with its new owners," Man City. Australia's governing body "is open to the possibility of Manchester City rebranding Melbourne Heart before the start of next season, beginning with a change of logo, name and colours." After buying a controlling 80% stake in the A-League strugglers, Man City has "already made moves to rename the club 'Melbourne City' as well as change the club's logo and colours to predominantly sky blue." There "will be no changes to Melbourne Heart's identity for the remainder of the season, but a group called MHFC Holdings Pty Ltd registered 'Melbourne City Football Club' as a trademark" on Jan. 16 in a sign of the changes to the club "expected to be made during the A-League break" (SMH, 1/25).
FAN FURY: In Melbourne, Michael Lynch wrote Heart's diehards "are up in arms at the prospect of a change in the club's colours." Social media "reacted angrily to comments made by an Australian Manchester City supporters group that the City takeover of the red and whites would not work unless the team was rebranded, its colours changed to sky blue, the same as Manchester City's, and its name changed to Melbourne City." A number of Heart supporters took to Twitter "to take issue with the City fans, arguing that while a name-change might be acceptable, dropping the club's red and white stripes was not" (THE AGE, 1/27).