Our colours don't run

It seems the takeover of Melbourne Heart by the Manchester City-led consortium has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the football community in Australia - but with a more cautious welcome from Melbourne Heart fans.

The potential is very real for the club to grow enormously through the boost in resources available to it and in terms of its profile throughout Asia and the world.

It is an exciting time for all associated with the club.

However attention has quickly turned to exactly how much change will occur as a result. It is only reasonable to accept that if a consortium invests in a club such as Melbourne Heart to this extent then they do have leverage to make some alterations.

The registration of the domain name “Melbourne City” would appear to indicate that a change of title is likely. The general consensus of Heart fans appears to at least reluctantly accept this all the way to fully supporting the move due to a dislike of the “Heart” tag.

I too can accept this as a consequence of Manchester City building a substantial base and spreading its identity from a marketing sense. Melbourne Heart still being in just our fourth season also makes it easier to stomach.

I would however warn against a change of the colours - and believe my view reflects the majority of Heart fans . Red and white as colours are more valued by the fans than the club name. Red and white not only appear in numerous chants but are the rallying and distinguishing point of our club.

There is already a blue club in Melbourne and more specifically a sky blue team in the A-League. Taking away the colours would leave the club almost unrecognisable to the core supporter base who have stuck with Heart through thick and thin; after all, football is nothing without the fans.

Jack Kerr in a recent article for the Guardian Australia reported that a Manchester City supporter group based in Melbourne would be completely put off by a team playing in red. However, the club’s fan culture has been created out of supporters donning the red and white, the feeling of a relative few Manchester City fans should not dictate this.

A reasonable middle ground would be to play in a sky blue away kit and thus reflect the Manchester City influence. The kit worn in front of the home crowd needs to stay the same to reflect a respect for the fans who turn up week in week out.

Like Jack Kerr, I have enough faith in the new consortium’s business sense and knowledge of football culture to believe that the colours will remain. The takeover has great potential to bring upon a very bright future for Melbourne Heart but the fans who have helped build the club to what it is deserve to be heard.