City Football Group (CFG), the majority owners of A-League soccer side Melbourne Heart FC, have confirmed that the club will be renamed Melbourne City FC.
The announcement was made via a letter to the club’s members from CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano. The letter also contained the new club logo and the kit designs for the 2014-15 A-League season.
‘Following a lengthy consultation with the club’s members, partners, the FFA and a range of other stakeholders,’ wrote Soriano, ‘we believe the changes announced today will strengthen the club’s ties with the community to which it belongs while expanding its ability to grow commercially and harness the many benefits of belonging to the City family.’
The move to rebrand the club has been in the offing ever since it was acquired by Manchester City FC and rugby league outfit the Melbourne Storm in January 2014. Shortly after the takeover it was reported that Melbourne Heart’s holding company, MHFC Holdings Pty Ltd, had lodged an application to trademark the name Melbourne City Football Club.
Scott Munn, the chief executive of Melbourne City FC, said: “The club has worked hard to create an identity for Melbourne City FC that reflects the traditions of its existing fan base and embraces the many sporting, operational and commercial benefits that are provided by our association with Manchester City FC and New York City FC.”
The announcement coincides with the unveiling of Nike as the club’s new official kit supplier, in place of Kappa, and Hostplus as the back-of-shirt sponsor.
The new home kit will be white and blue – bringing it inline with the Manchester City’s home colours – as opposed to the traditional red and white, which will now feature in the away kit.
Melbourne City has also announced that Spanish World Cup winner David Villa will play for them for a portion of the upcoming season. Villa recently signed for another City Football Group team, New York City FC who will debut in Major League Soccer (MLS) next year, but will play for the A-League side from October to December, before the MLS season gets underway.