Just over a decade after rebranding the names of its three divisions, the Football League has decided it needs a new name itself. The new title, which will come into use next season, will supposedly be shortened to EFL for "everyday use across the game", because in the modern world a name with two words and three syllables is too long for "everyday use".
Founded in 1888, the Football League is the original professional football league in the world. Sadly in the modern world history counts for little. Especially in football.
At the announcement of the new name The Football League’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said:
The new EFL name rightly emphasises the central role our clubs play at the heart of English professional football.
In an increasingly challenging global sports market, it is absolutely essential that sports properties can project a modern identity that not only resonates with their regular audience but is also easily recognisable to a broader audience of potential fans, viewers and commercial partners.
So what does he really mean? Well it is well known that outside Britain the Premier League is known as the EPL. Clearly the move to create an "EFL" brand is trying to jump on the back of the Premier League's rising global popularity.
Sadly for the Football League such moves are unlikely to make much difference. No foreigner is suddenly going to start watching second, third or fourth tier English football because of a rebrand. They have effectively thrown away 127 years of history in the hope Americans might start watching the Football League.
It can only be hoped that the change isn't used by owners like Hull City's Assem Allam to force through name changes to Football League clubs. After all if the league itself needs a "modern identity" then won't its football clubs?
And then there's the whole Welsh issue.
The English Football League featuring Cardiff and Newport— Phil Cadden (@pjcadden) November 12, 2015
Thinly veiled 'it's time for you Welsh clubs to fuck off home and play Llanfairpwll FC on a regular basis https://t.co/Ecd4pILWFt— CCFC Central (@CCFC_Central) November 12, 2015
Still at least we can look forward to a new logo. The official announcement proudly declared that "each club will be presented with its own bespoke version in its individual playing colours for it to retain in perpetuity." They might regret the use of perpetuity when they force through a new rebrand in 10 years time.
Here's the logo, featuring 'a dynamic circular arrangement of 72 balls in three swathes of 24'. Yep, that's right. pic.twitter.com/mljTiLmCfB— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) November 12, 2015
Just like the new name, the idea of each club having their own bespoke version, is stolen from America (the MLS). Overall the whole rebrand feels rather second rate, but maybe that's the idea. A second rate brand for a second rate league!