Transparent Portsmouth show Leeds United the way over identity crisis

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With Leeds United’s sudden badge change prompting a huge backlash among fans, a fellow Football League club have demonstrated how to go about such a dramatic change in a much more transparent way.

League One Portsmouth endeavoured to gauge the view of their entire fanbase as they themselves go through a change to the club’s badge.

And while Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear has pledged further consultation after more than 70,000 people signed a petition against the new badge which was revealed on Wednesday lunchtime, he may wish to look in the direction of Pompey to see how it can be done.

Portsmouth were purchased by American Investment Firm ‘The Tornate Company’ in August 2017 and Portsmouth Evening News’ chief sports writer Neil Allen has explained how they have taken a different approach to what is always going to be a corrosive issue among a club’s fanbase.

“(Portsmouth) don’t own their own badge basically,” said Allen, “it’s the city badge, so they’d like to copyright the badge by making one of their own while also making slight amendments to it.

“They’ve been consulting fans since the start of the season, so they shared about four or five images and asked for the fans’ opinions and took them to their new Sports Heritage board as well.

Leeds have got a wonderfully proud history and there’s no nod towards history and their achievements in the past whatsoever.

Neil Allen, Portsmouth Evening News

“Obviously some designs are very unpopular and if anything there’s been a lot of criticism for the scope of designs seen, so there’s no real outcome so far.

“Everyone’s got an opinion as they’re entitled to of course and it’s prompted a lot of debate. None of them are horrendous, in fact I’d say that all of them, including the worst one, are definitely better than the Leeds one I saw.

“You do wonder if the people within Leeds just treated it like ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ where the owners came up with an idea and they just fawned and danced around saying ‘wonderful’ whilst clapping their hands in glee.

“Leeds have got a wonderfully proud history and there’s no nod towards history and their achievements in the past whatsoever. It could just be any badge on a computer game and it’s got no relevance to Leeds United as a proper football club.

“That’s the thing with Pompey, they’re looking to keep their heritage, they want to put an anchor on there and all sorts. Badges do change and fans don’t normally like change with the badges, but as I said the aim is to sort of give a nod towards their history and their heritage.”

Leeds United Under-23s coach Carlos Corberan.

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