To reflect the massive changes made on the pitch over the past two years, Paris Saint-Germain announced on Friday a new club logo that will be active from next season. The move was expected following rumours a few months ago that the change was being considered, but thankfully the logo that was initially proposed has been revised.
Gone are the Marseille-esque colours that had originally been suggested and instead, the club have gone for something similar to the current logo but with some key alterations. There had been much consternation when the original designs became public knowledge, but those were ditched after the similarities with their bitter rivals' logo were drawn.
Whilst nobody likes the term "rebranding" in football, the club have opted to call it that and hope that the new design will strengthen PSG's global appeal. The design plays upon the word 'Paris' as its key feature, making the Saint-Germain part of the name less prominent. However, the Eiffel Tower remains at the heart of the image and retains its red colour.
Gone however is the cradle underneath the tower, symbolic of King Louis XIV, and instead it has been replaced by the fleur-de-lys, another traditional emblem. Also, the founding year of 1970 is no longer visible on the crest.
Club President Nasser Al-Khelaifi claims that the development of the new logo is:
"an important step towards fulfilling our ambition of making PSG one of the biggest global sporting brands."
The new design no doubt symbolises the new direction that the club has taken since Qatar Sports Investments arrived in the capital, but there are plenty of fans already who have voiced their opinion that the current logo should have been kept. It is slick, modern and well designed but there has been particular early criticism of the decision to drop the focus on the club's full name.
Admittedly, it is a shrewd move to focus more on the Paris aspect of the club's image and that association further strengthens its identity. But the downplaying of the Saint-Germain part hints at a discarding of the full name of Paris Saint-Germain and instead could lead to the full-time adoption of the simple 'Paris' moniker in future.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic symbols in the world and the club have realised that, and whilst they have already been using it as the club symbol, the unique structure had not been exploited to its full potential. The new design will do that, making it more instantly recognisable and crucially, "more international."
Much has been made of the club's decision, positively and negatively, but the decision to change the logo makes sense given the club's recent progress. It was inevitable that new ownership would bring a change of identity and despite the subtle changes; thankfully though a large slice of the design still feels familiar and "Parisian."
As the brand continues to move forward on and off the pitch, Sunday's clash with bitter rivals Marseille will mark another important watershed moment in the club's history with the debut of David Beckham.
Brand PSG will mesh with Brand Beckham, but the club have already shown that they don't necessarily need the Englishman to change the image of the club.