Sport Football Have a Heart: Melbourne City says hands off our name

Have a Heart: Melbourne City says hands off our name

Harry Kewell
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A Victorian football club is ready to take on the consortium led by English Premier League giants Manchester City over the right to keep their name.

Melbourne City Football Club play in Football Federation Victoria’s bottom tier, State League 5, and are in danger of losing their name if, as tipped, Melbourne Heart decide to rebrand as Melbourne City.

MHFC Holdings Pty Ltd applied to register the name ‘Melbourne City Football Club’ on January 16 and is waiting for approval which may take up to five months.

If the name is approved by Intellectual Property Australia, Melbourne City Football Club will be allowed to oppose the trademark, with the process possibly heading to the Federal Court as a last resort.

Melbourne City president Camilo Pizarro told The New Daily the club will “absolutely” go to the extreme measure to keep their name.

“If it comes down to it we are willing to fight it. We have a lot of people who have been in and out of the club but everyone is united to our name,” Pizarro said.

Pizzaro said this isn’t the first time the club’s name has been up for discussion.

“I wasn’t in the committee back then but to my knowledge the club has been approached previously by both Victorian teams (Heart and Victory). It could have been informal,” Pizarro said.

“The name has been around for so long and a lot of our members identify with the name. It makes it so hard for us to even consider changing the name.

“We have to talk to the members as it is not my decision at the end of the day.”

In an interview with Fox Sports, Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop said the governing body will be “open to the conversation” of rebranding the Melbourne Heart.

Melbourne City FC have held their name for the past 22 years after taking over defunct National Soccer League outfit, Footscray JUST. Since then the club has had a gradual decline from the top tier of Victorian football.

The club has been an incorporated association since 2004 and currently play out of Spotswood.