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Montreal Impact reveal new identity, fans divided

Montreal (AFP) – Montreal Impact officially unveiled its  new identity on Thursday, relaunching the Major League Soccer franchise as Club de Foot Montreal with a new logo and a tweak to team colours.

The club, which joined MLS in 2012 after nearly two decades in junior divisions of professional soccer in North America, will now be known as CF Montreal from the 2021 season.

As well as the Impact name, the club has also abandoned its previous club badge, a shield featuring black and blue stripes beneath a white fleur de lys, in favour of a logo in the form of a snowflake.

“In order to keep on growing and progressing, we are making an important change,” said CF Montreal chief executive Kevin Gilmore.

“This transformation is inspired by the culture of our city, its people, as well as the history of our Club and our sport in Montreal, to lead us into an even brighter future.

“It’s a great metamorphosis that will stimulate and guide our evolution.”

The club has also changed its club motto from “Tous pour gagner” (“All for victory”) to “Droit devant” (“Always forward”).

The name change has divided opinion amongst some of Montreal’s supporters, however. 

An online petition launched last month calling for the club to keep the Montreal Impact name has garnered more than 2,200 signatures.

The Ultras Montreal supporters group — which opposed the name change —  led a chorus of disapproval on Thursday.

“We have a question,” the fan group said on Twitter. “Is this all a joke?”

Other fans posting on social media on Thursday expressed dislike for the club’s new “snowflake” logo, suggesting it would invite ridicule given common modern usage of “snowflake” as a derogatory term.

“Montreal snowflakes. Our players will be so disgusted when they go on the road. Totally ridiculous,” one Twitter user commented.

CF Montreal are coached by former France, Arsenal and Barcelona star Thierry Henry, who saw the team finish ninth in the Eastern Conference standings in 2020 after a pandemic-disrupted first season in charge.

Henry’s team were eliminated by New England in the first stage of the postseason “play-in” tournament in November.

Nevertheless Henry told AFP Thursday he had been able to take positives from his first season.

“We said to ourselves that we absolutely had to do the playoffs this year because it had been a while since the team had qualified for them,” Henry said.

“Unfortunately we did not go far but there are good things that came out…We managed to cope with a situation that was not obvious.”

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  1. NashRambler

    January 17, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    If you are going to go through the hassle of re-branding the “no-brainer” option would have been Olympique Montreal.

  2. Don

    January 17, 2021 at 11:02 am

    @KL growing up and still a STL sports (Cardinals/Blues) fan I was greatly disappointed in the STLSC logo. Being from STL (Illinois side) and having to look up the meaning of the logo should tell you something. We have 2 iconic logos and now we go and make our MLS one, what can only be deemed, one of the worst ever.

    At least now I can say We aren’t the snowflakes lol.

  3. disco george

    January 15, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    The logo isn’t hideous,.. it’s just that it looks like a logo for a Winter Olympics bid and not a ‘club de foot’.

  4. Mercator

    January 15, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Club foot? The jokes write themselves really, beyond me how a North American team worth hundreds of millions could think Club Foot is the brand they want to go for. Honestly why not just football like anywhere. I get it foot is a nickname in Quebec, so is footy in many places, but a team called [City] Footy Club would be an absolute joke. Club de foot is even worse, it basically Club Foot! Google that.

    Snowflake logo? Again, they aren’t helping themselves, although I do think the design is nice. No idea why they have the same text upside down at the bottom, just put the founding club year instead of illegible text. MLS really is just so awful at these things I swear it must be deliberate at this point. The last 3-4 have been awful now, with no purpose, boring name changes and in many cases childish designs with obvious flaws. There are now 2-3 or clubs in the league that are an absolute mockery because of terrible rebrands. Can’t want to play against the club footed snowflakes this year.

  5. KL

    January 15, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Exactly, I wonder if they will listen to supporters and correct it. (ex: Chicago Fire)

  6. Dermot McQuarrie

    January 15, 2021 at 6:28 am

    Hadn’t they heard about the disparaging term from the days when children born with a deformity had to go through their life with a “club foot”? At least when Houston originally screwed up its name they had the sense to admit the mistake and change it

  7. JP

    January 14, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Miami’s is laughable, trying too hard. Surprised they didn’t go with ‘Inter Real Miami City United CF’

  8. KL

    January 14, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    This club will now forever be known to me as Club Foot. (Also the Snowflakes) I feel bad for Montreal supporters. I thought their old crest was one of the cleanest in the league. I also don’t like where MLS is heading: LAFC, CF Montreal, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, Inter Miami CF, FC Cincinnati, St. Louis City SC. See the trend? (Same with the circle logos)

  9. Joseph Ackerman

    January 14, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    “Might be difficult to play soccer with a clubbed foot.”
    It works in French, sure, but in English it kind of sounds ridiculous. But if they’re happy with it, more power to ’em.

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