Wednesday, July 24, 2013

SPFL: The lion roars

Finally a vision of what the future is going to look like.

The SPFL - the Scottish Professional Football League - today unveiled its new lion logo and the names of the four senior leagues in the newly amalgamated structure.

Scottish Professional Football League, SPFL, logo

The logo - I assume intended to be an updated version of the rather more peely-wally branding of the Scottish Football League - features a lion with what appears to be the remnants of the Champions League football logo caught up in its mane. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be roaring, sticking its tongue out at SPFL critics or smoking a battered old stogie it found lying on the street.

That the English Premier League logo also employs a lion-football mash up is clearly nothing more than a coincidence.

Inspiration for the new Scottish Professional Football League logo

Unveiling the new brand, Graeme Souness said:

"The lion suggests you’re strong and dominant which hopefully we will be."

Which is a pithy load of pish.

The league nomenclature could have been predicted:

  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Championship
  • Scottish League One
  • Scottish League Two

I think that means we're starting out the SPFL era with naming conventions borrowed from the 2005/2006 English season.

What, of course, is in a name? A Scottish Premiership by any other name could still be as exciting/predictable/woeful/bankrupt.

But one might have expected the SPFL would have been keen to give the impression of an organisation full of fresh ideas, ready to tackle the rehabilitation of Scottish football with vigour and verve.

The appointment of Neil Doncaster as chief executive suggested that wasn't the case, a feeling compounded by choice of names.

Now its chosen to announce itself to the world wearing ill fitting clothes stolen from a richer and more glamorous older brother.

All of which will be meaningless if the new organisation can deliver an improvement in the fortunes of Scottish football.

Marketing will play a role in that. Today's logo and naming jamboree wasn't accompanied by the unveiling of a title sponsor for any of the leagues.

And the SPFL website won't be live until next month.

The more things change, the more Scottish football's marketing stays incompetent and the more the game remains a hard sell.

All that Hampden dilly-dallying has meant time has been against the new organisation - but a functioning website should have been a basic requirement today.

As Stewart Weir commented on Twitter:

"Looking at the new #SPFL logo, the famous phrase 'lions led by donkeys' could apply yet again ..."