Very rarely has there ever been a bigger outcry from a set of supporters than there was when Leeds United’s hierarchy made the decision to change the club’s badge in 2018. To add insult to injury, it was met with global ridicule as opposition fans taunted the Leeds supporters about what they were going to have to wear on their matchday shirts going forward.
Keep in mind that Leeds weren’t as high flying as they are today. In fact, they were languishing in the bottom half of the Championship with very little hope of promotion which meant, in essence, that there was very little to get excited about in general if you were a Leeds fan. For perspective, if you were to look at the best Championship betting odds for promotion this season and locate Milwall’s odds of 50/1 to go up whilst in 14th place, well, that would be the equivalent of Leeds’ reality in 2018.
Then with the cherry on top, Andrea Radrizzani thought it would be a good idea to change the club badge. Unsurprisingly, over 50,000 fans begged to differ and put their names to a petition that went viral overnight, which stated that the club should do no such thing under any circumstances. The badge in question that was causing such an uproar was of a supporter, presumably a Leeds one, doing the salute that has made the club famous which involves a clenched his fist to the heart.
You can, in some ways, see what the powers that be at Leeds were going for as they tried to pay homage to the fans with the official line being that ‘supporters were at the heart of Leeds’ identity.’
Needless to say, the Leeds fans weren’t having any of it despite the good intentions of the club and rose up fiercely against the plan to remove the current shield emblem that is found on the famous white shirt today. Remarkably, it only took a month for the club to announce that they were going to rethink the design and wouldn’t be pressing ahead with the current plan to change the badge. What that statement was really saying, despite the best efforts of the Leeds hierarchy to save face, was that the fans had nothing to worry about any longer as this cursed badge would never see the light of day.
And so, here we are, four years on from that whirlwind month, and the gnashing of teeth, anger, and frustration have all died down as Leeds United continue to play with their famous shield badge on the front of their fabled white shirts.
The power of the people prevailed and up until now, the Leeds ownership hasn’t dared spring a surprise like that on the supporters since. What they have said is that the day will ultimately come when they will have to modernise and change the badge which is, in some ways, understandable, but then again you can’t imagine that anyone will be putting their hands up to make that announcement anytime soon.