As they enter their penultimate season at Upton Park, West Ham is set to finalise on a new design for the club’s badge.
Amendments to the new logo – of which this will be the 16th – have been an ongoing process over the last few months. The final vote on a new design for the badge on their kit will be granted to supporters who have a track record of watching live games at Upton Park.
The proposed new design would take away the silhouette of Boleyn Castle and print the word ‘London’ in capital letters at the badge’s base. The two crossed hammers are set to stay in place, sustaining the club’s connection with Thames Ironworks where the club was founded back in 1895.
Besides creating a logo that is cleaner and bolder, it is believed that the principle incentive behind the redesign is to produce a badge that firmly establishes the Hammers as a top London football club. In a city where Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs naturally take the limelight, West Ham perhaps hope to raise their international profile both in continental Europe and further afield.
Move to Olympic Park
The new badge is expected to come into play in 2016, coinciding with the club’s move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Despite claims of spying and other skullduggery, the sale was finalised relatively smoothly once the Government agreed to raise their contribution to the redevelopment of the club up to £25 million.
As a stipulation of the Government’s increased contribution, the Hammers raised their own share from £5 to £15 million. West Ham will play at the Olympic Stadium from August 2016 onwards, paying roughly £2 million a year in rent.
Whether the redesigned logo combined with the move to the iconic 2012 Summer Games stadium will be sufficient in raising West Ham’s profile abroad is uncertain. The Hammers received a significant amount of publicity across the globe with the release of the DeeGee Entertainment film Green Street in 2005. Focusing on a group of friends in the West Ham football firm called the Green Street Elite (loosely based on the club’s Inner City Firm), the film brought the club to many non-‘soccer’ fans in the States as well as across Europe.
Of course, more than any of this, qualifying for the Champions League would guarantee global exposure and perhaps even an increased fan base. Like Arsenal and Spurs, at the Olympic Stadium the Hammers will not have the luxury of a city central ground that Chelsea currently enjoy. From 2018 onwards, supporters coming from the centre of London will be able to use the east-west Crossrail route out to Stratford. Those travelling from abroad can consider this service offering transport into the city from all London airports.
Before any of that though, there are still two years of football still to play at Upton Park. West Ham’s penultimate season at the Boleyn Ground kicks off on 16th August against rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.