Stewart Donald says Sunderland is not looking to change club badge after fans' group call

Stewart Donald, right, has said the club is not considering a redesign of the badge after comments were made by Charlie Methven, left, told a fans' group it could be looked at.
Stewart Donald, right, has said the club is not considering a redesign of the badge after comments were made by Charlie Methven, left, told a fans' group it could be looked at.

The chairman of Sunderland AFC has said the club is not looking at changing the club badge, despite suggestions a new crest could be created for the side.

Earlier this week, Charlie Methven, its executive director, confirmed the club was looking at drawing up a fresh, more simple design to put on kit and merchandise.

The stadium gates are adorned with the club badge.

The stadium gates are adorned with the club badge.

His comments were first made during a meeting with the Supporters' Collective group held at the Stadium of Light, with the minutes published via the Red & White Army website.

Related: A step too far or time for something new? 23 things you said about Sunderland AFC's badge and how it could change

Fans have given the suggestion a mixed reaction, with some calling for the old badge, which featured a ship, to be brought back, while others have backed a new look or shunned the idea of another change.

Our poll, which asked whether supporters backed a change on the crest, found 49% of voters wanted to keep the current badge, 34% wanted it to revert it back to the old ship crest and 17% would back a new design.

Club chairman Stewart Donald outside the Stadium of light. He says there are no plans to change the crest.

Club chairman Stewart Donald outside the Stadium of light. He says there are no plans to change the crest.

Mr Methven then discussed the idea further in an interview with the Echo.

He said: "It's one aspect of the club we are currently looking at and asking questions as to can we do things better."

However, Mr Donald has since told listeners of BBC Newcastle's Total Sport he was not considering the change after a fan got in touch pleading to leave the crest as it is.

He said: "I think this has come from one of the fan groups and had mentioned to Charlie about the possibly of changing the badge, as I understand having checked it.

"I'm not 100% sure what Charlie said, I haven't checked that, but the club badge isn't for Charlie or I or the board to change, it's for the fans.

"If the fans wanted to change the badge, we'd have a poll and make a change if that's what they wanted to do.

"But it would be expensive to change the badge, it's everywhere, so we would like to keep it as it is.

"It comes to January, you want to spend half a million on your squad and you're changing the badge around."

It was pointed out it was on the gates of the stadium, its seats and Mr Donald also added: "A lot of human beings' bodies and they won't be best chuffed."

The discussion has sparked former club chairman Sir Bob Murray to discuss why the change of badge was brought in back in 1997.

More about the Red & White Army can be found here.

Read more: Club crest, safe standing & stadium identity: The key points as Sunderland hierarchy meet supporters