What fans will see from Pompey’s new badge

Pompey's current crest on the Fratton Park turf. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's current crest on the Fratton Park turf. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Richard the Lionheart can rest easy in his French grave.

The star and crescent, reputedly adopted by the city after he granted Portsmouth its first charter in 1192, will remain emblazoned on its great sporting institution.

That we certainly know at the end of period which has delivered the loudest and most voracious debate so far in the Eisner era.

It may not earn you any league points but identity is a serious business in football.

And when you’re dealing with the heritage of an illustrious 119-year-old football club, people get very protective.

That we’ve seen as the debate raged over the direction headed for the crest worn on the chest of players and proud Pompey fans next season.

Messageboards, forums and matchday boozers have become a hive of chatter on the subject, with the hubbub rising to a crescendo in the wake of six ‘design concepts’ being released last week.

As we know, the modern supporter is keen for their voice to be heard, and that’s certainly a valid standpoint when it comes to the traditions surrounding their club.

The desire to do so has been witnessed in the near-5,000 responses as Pompey asked for feedback from supporters.

What’s been garnered from that underlines both the emotive and subjective nature of the process.

Opinions are forthright but it’s been a scattergun effect when arriving at a preference.

‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ chief executive Mark Catlin told The News, when discussing the subject.

‘There is no general consensus on the badges we put up – or badges from other people.’

Now, there’s two ways of looking at that. You could say none of the offerings nailed the brief – or there’s never likely to be a consensus reached.

Looking at some of the online forums, which the Pompey hierarchy have, they see it as being the latter.

For example, the star and crescent set against a sword and anchor backdrop (concept six) was hammered on the badges’ release.

‘It looks like a schoolchild’s design project – a bad one at that,’ was one response.

Yet, on one forum it had a groundswell of support.

A disappointment to some is the news there will be no final vote.

That process could have seen ‘outside’ interference, hence views from a variety of supporter groups being sought along with fans’ feedback, which is now being compiled in a report to be presented to the club’s heritage and advisory board.

From there, a final recommendation will be forwarded to the club’s board.

What’s clear is no-one wants either a seismic shift from the current badge, or an embarrassing conclusion to the process.

Rest assured, neither’s going to happen.

Forget the star and crescent being ditched, red and white appearing or Mickey Mouse ears being added to the final decision.

In all probability, a relatively subtle change such as a football – the traditional one – being placed in the blazing star will satisfy copyright demands.

Inevitably, not all will be pleased. But to agitate at the change is to overlook the host of times that’s subtly occurred in the club’s history.

Barring the 1980 switch, the essence of the star and crescent has remained.

‘It’s almost a bit like team selection,’ Catlin said on the topic. ‘Everyone’s got a different view.

‘I don’t think that’s a negative. It’s a positive. But you have to appreciate it’s an opinion – and one person’s view isn’t necessarily more important than another.

‘Ultimately, someone has to make the decision and stick by it. That’s whether you’re the manager, board of directors, heritage board or CEO.

‘You can garner the opinions, great, but someone has to stand up and make the decision.’