Today we announced that The Football League is to have a new name and identity from the end of this season. So, what has been announced, why is it being done and what does it mean for fans?What is changing?
At the conclusion of the current season and ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, The Football League is to be re-named the ‘English Football League’. The new name will be shortened to simply ‘EFL’ for everyday use across the game.
The new name, will accompanied by a new logo…
The logo is designed to represent all of the League’s 72 clubs (it is comprised of 72 balls) and the three divisions they play in, with the balls divided in to three sections – we hope you like it!
The new logo is just the fourth in the 127 year history of the League and, for the first time, each club will be presented with its own bespoke version in its individual playing colours.
Why are we changing?
Innovation has always part of the League – when we were established way back in 1888 we became the first league football competition in the world, and in the 127 years since then have been responsible for introducing major, game-changing innovations such as three points for a win and the Play-Offs.
The world has developed rapidly over the last decade, in particular with the growth of digital and social media, and we need to keep pace with that change. We all know the importance of attracting a new, younger generation to ensure our clubs continue to play in stadiums full of passionate fans for years to come. It is absolutely essential therefore that we project a modern identity that not only resonates with our regular audience but is also easily recognisable to a broader audience of potential fans.
What won’t be changing?
We will be retaining the three existing divisional titles - the Championship, League One and League Two. They have proven popular with fans since their introduction in 2004 and have since been used by leagues in other countries and in other sports.
If it is to be called the English Football League, what does that mean for Welsh clubs?
Welsh clubs are a very important part of The Football League and will continue to be in the future. While it is not a unique situation, it is generally seen as an anomaly in world football terms for clubs from one footballing country to play their league matches in another country's league system. However, having Welsh clubs participate in the English pyramid benefits everyone, with Cardiff City and Newport Country both being highly valued members of The Football League. Our decision to change the name of the competition to the English Football League (EFL) recognises that our competition is sanctioned by The FA and is part of the English football pyramid.
Who did we consult?
The introduction of the EFL name follows a thorough process of consultation that included detailed surveys, interviews and focus groups. Firstly, we spoke to fans with more than 18,000 football supporters completing a survey to submit their views. We also spoke to others in the game, including the Football Association, the Premier League, the Professional Footballers Association, the Football Supporters Federation, the League’s competition sponsors, its broadcast partners and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
With a new name and a new look, Season 2016/17 promises to be an exciting one – but first there is plenty more drama to be played out across Football League club grounds this season – enjoy it!