Dear Malcolm Holmes,
I originally sent an email in 2011 about how disappointed I was with the ongoing use of the paddle pop lion on the jumper. Eighteen months later I’m a little sad to say that it’s still a relevant issue for our club.
At first I thought the release of the Premiership Guernsey this year to celebrate the three peat was a brilliant idea. But it’s ended up being bitter sweet. Seeing the players wearing it brought back strong memories and hit me much harder than I ever expected, seeing them beat the Bombers against the odds was an absolutely delight. But this week to go to the game and see them struggle against Carlton, at home, with the paddle pop on was a bitter pill to swallow. I can’t help but wonder; did the boys stand taller, run harder, and push themselves more because of the heritage the Premiership Lion represents? Would they find that little spark more often each week if they ran out in a jumper that reminded them of the triple Premiership every time they put it on and every time they looked to another team mate?
That Lion is powerful symbolic link to the ‘never say die’ Fitzroy heritage as well as the glory we achieved a decade ago, and in a world where we have plastic pre-made franchises trying to get a foothold in our market, I’m shocked and disappointed that we would turn our backs on such a powerful brand.
I know it wasn’t your decision to change the logo. I understand the reasons for changing the logo at the time, even though the members weren’t consulted. I’m not asking you to change the logo now. What I am asking is that you put the Premiership Lion back on the guernsey, front and center, the way it used to be, and to put the paddle pop lion as a small logo where the Premiership Lion currently resides.
As the owner of a business I understand the importance of brand, but a footy club is more than just a business. It has a heart and soul, and while some members have accepted the paddle pop, I think you'll find there are many more who have not, or at the very least would much prefer we pay respect to where we came from, and try to draw strength from that glorious history.
I haven't bought any merchandise with paddle pop lion on it, and refuse to in the future. I wear my 2001 guernsey to games, and four year old my son just wears a blue or maroon jumper. I have bought him and I a commemorative premiership Guernsey, but it is cold comfort know that once he grows out of it he'll want a new one and all he'll have to choose from is the paddle pop.
Please, bring back the premiership Lion permanently. Even if it is just on the jumper, I think you'll find the members will thank you for it, and so will the players. It will be an act we'll all remember you for, and one that will earn you even more respectful and favour then you hold now for doing such a great job reinvigorating the Club’s engagement with the members and the community. A powerful turning point in our story where we aligned ourselves with victory and history like all the great clubs do, and rose to greatness again.
Thank you for your time,
Member No. ######