English football club mottos: the Latin, the motivators and the downright crap
NEWS that Everton Football Club™ has decided to modernise its historic badge, and in the process jettison its famous Latin motto, has caused not altogether unpredictable outrage among the Goodison Faithful ™.
The motto in question translates as ‘Nothing but the best’, so the timing of its retirement is unfortunate, coinciding as it does with a period of uncertainty following the departure of the ‘Moysiah’ to Old Trafford.
All of which begs the question of whether some other long-established club mottos and slogans are fit for purpose in the modern game. A select few still favour the classical Latin, so we will consider them first.
Motto: translates as ‘Home of the shouting men’.
Verdict: The Gills’ reputation as a rough-and-ready club with ‘spirited’ support remains as strong as ever. No need for change.
Motto: translates as ‘By skill and labour’.
Verdict: Qualities in short supply at Ewood Park, sadly. After two car-crash seasons, with managerial turmoil, relegation from the Premier League, and a disappointing 17th-place finish in the Championship, it could be time for a re-think.
Motto: translates as ‘Pride in battle’.
Verdict: Little evidence of this, judging by their tame capitulation to relegation-bound Wigan in the FA Cup Final. Nothing less than the requisite ‘five trophies in five years’ will substantiate this over-confident claim.
Motto: translates as ‘To dare is to do’.
Verdict: In Spurs’ favour it could be said that they ‘dare to fail’ – an admirable if frustrating trait. Stay on-message and fortune should eventually favour the brave.
Motto: translates as ‘Intelligence and courage’.
Verdict: After a seventh successive play-off failure – this time against Yeovil Town – the once mighty Blades seem to be falling short in at least one of these departments.
Motto: translates as ‘Promotes your inner power’.
Verdict: Bottom place in the Championship, ten points below the team above, suggests that the power has waned somewhat. On the other hand, it fits nicely with the Dutch courage induced by shirt sponsors Blackthorn Cider…
Motto: translates as ‘For the King and the law’.
Verdict: Leeds fans have fought the law over the years, and the law has usually won. And the next King of England is a Villa fan. Time for a change.
Verdict:It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. Winning was indeed everything in the Championship play-offs, and the Eagles swooped on the biggest financial prize in world football.
Verdict: Not the fortress it once was, but Anfield still oozes history and tradition. A powerful reminder of the standards to which the reds aspire.
Queen’s Park Rangers
Verdict: If ‘This is Anfield’ strikes a note of warning, ‘We are QPR’ sounds more like a polite reminder. Context is everything, and while the Rs regroup in the league’s second tier, they would be advised to rest their would-be-defiant banners.
Verdict: The Theatre of Dreams™ will be packing them in again next year, along with Les Mis and the London Eye. It ain’t broke, do no need to fix it.
Verdict: ‘Let ’Em Come’ remains the perfect combination of pride and underlying menace, and thus reigns supreme among football anthems. The ‘welcome’ sign is similarly double-edged. The plastic lion must go, though.
West Ham United
Verdict: Winning, drawing and losing is what the Irons really ‘are’, of course. And it would help to get someone with a basic grasp of grammar and punctuation to compose their next slogan. Back to the drawing board. And as for ‘The Academy of Football’…
Verdict: Highbury, once the ‘Home of football’ is now the home of several hundred wealthy north London professionals. The Emirates stadium is sloganless, which shows a certain dignity.
The Football Association
Verdict: With the possible exception of RBS, it’s hard to think of an organisation with less justification for such a puffed-up, complacent and downright untruthful mission statement. Get rid.