So Melbourne Heart’s new owners – the same consortium that owns EPL giants Manchester City – want the club to wear sky blue next season do they? Well, not if Scott Barlow can help it.
The Sydney FC chairman has lodged a formal complaint over the application lodged to FFA by the Heart’s new owners, which includes not only changing the playing kit from red and white to the identical Man City strip of sky blue and white, but also a change of name to Melbourne City and a new club logo.
But Barlow believes there is only room for one sky blue outfit in Australia’s sole professional football competition, and he is hell-bent on ensuring that Sydney remains the only A-League club wearing the colour next season.
"Sky blue is much more than just a colour for Sydney FC, it's central to our identity. Sky blue represents our club, our harbour city and is the traditional colour of NSW," Barlow said, as reported online by The Sydney Morning Herald.
"In a competition with only 10 teams, the idea of two teams wearing sky blue is nonsensical, especially when sky blue is so closely associated with NSW.
"In football, club colours are sacred, and they should represent where a club comes from and not the identity of its owner."
Good on Barlow for taking a stand against this.
On the surface it may seem ridiculous for FFA to dictate to the owners of an A-League club what colours they can or cannot use for their team’s playing strip, but Barlow’s point regarding the small number of teams in the A-League is a valid one. And the fact that Melbourne City is not a new, start-up franchise, but a club that already exists and has its own identifiable colours, means this application simply should not be allowed by the league’s governing body.
If Manchester City’s owners want to branch out and acquire clubs on different continents, then that’s fine. But trying to set up a global empire of ‘Manchester Cities’ is something that the loyal fans of the clubs they’re taking over, as well as those of clubs whose identity they are – however inadvertently – attempting to diminish, will not stand for.
Have your say: How do you feel about the proposed changes for the Melbourne Heart club? And do you agree with Scott Barlow that Sydney FC have a rightful claim to the colour sky blue?