Furious Freo fans to march against new look
Furious Fremantle fans will march on the club’s annual members meeting tonight in a protest against the contentious change of guernsey and logo which they claim has led to disunity between Dockers bosses and members.
Fremantle unveiled a new look, a new logo and proudly trumpeted the ability to market the club as the Dockers for the first time back in September, despite a huge online backlash.
The dumping of the anchor from the front of the guernsey in favour of three chevrons, as well as a new streamlined logo, divided opinion, with tens of thousands of negative comments posted on online forums.
The most fervent complaints appeared on the ‘Dockerland’ website, the unofficial home of Dockers fans online – with the new playing strip described as “soulless” and the new logo likened to a “paperclip”.
And still angry, a hardcore of Fremantle members have organised a ‘Members Walk’ to Fremantle Oval ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting – where fans have been encouraged to don their now outdated Fremantle kit.
Sportsnewsfirst.com.au has been told that Dockers bosses can expect a hostile reception from fans angry at what is seen as a decision taken without consultation and against the tradition of the port club.
“The arbitrary decision by the board, with no real consultation, has divided the membership, something Freo has never had to deal with,” one member said.
“Members were not shown at any stage the logo nor the jumper, which previously was designated a training jumper. No one was asked if they wanted to get rid of.
“All the history is gone, in the name of ‘branding’ and other such rubbish which has nothing to do with supporting a club.”
At the launch of the new strip, chief executive Steve Rosich defended the changes, saying the new logo entrenched the anchor as a club symbol.
“Furthermore our new jumper, which was inspired by the heritage jumper … is both an important tribute to our past and an acknowledgement of our football origins,” Rosich said.
“We are proud of our 16 year history and proud of the jumper and logo that we have worn and displayed with pride in that time.
“Given the nature of the changes to our logo and jumper and their undeniable acknowledgement to where we have come from as a football club, let there be no doubt that our new logo and jumper will be worn with as much pride in the future as they were in the past.”
There have also been accusations by fans that the club have downplayed fan anger, and even attempted to mask debate on the club’s official Facebook page.
And some members have vowed to boycott the new guernsey and associated merchandise in protest.
The club is also considering a potential change to the much maligned Fremantle club song, with alternatives currently being considered.
*Those wishing to join the Fremantle ‘Members Walk” should meet at Fremantle Train Station. The club’s Annual Members’ Meeting begins at 6.30pm in the Griff John Function Centre, South Fremantle Football Club.