Whitehawk FC can today confirm that we have withdrawn our application to change the club’s name to “Brighton City FC” following discussion with fans.
Chairman John Summers said ‘ The club and its members have had numerous meetings as a club over the past few seasons and it was unanimously agreed that a name change would be required in order to widen the clubs appeal and to embrace the city as a whole. Our target of an average gate of 1000 regular fans to provide sustainability is still achievable.’
The recent rule change by the FA however had forced WFC to register its intentions to change its name by 31st December which made it impossible for the club to refresh its discussions with the fans.
Again it was unanimously agreed that we only had official support from the club to change the name to ‘Brighton City’ although we were aware that sentiments may have changed especially since the raising of the club’s profile during the recent cup run.
Chairman John Summers said ‘I made a point of standing on the terraces with The Ultras yesterday at the Chelmsford match to engage with them first hand and they made it abundantly clear to me that although they understood the need to embrace the city, they dismissed the name ‘Brighton City’ as their preferred choice’. John continued ‘It was good to be amongst them and listen to their views personally and I thank them all for their input yesterday’.
Vice Chairman Nigel Thornton who was also at the Chelmsford game commented ‘It was very brave of John to leave the board room and go down and speak to the fans man to man on the terraces, not many people would have had the nerve to do that and I admire him for that. This is an exciting time for the club, we have grown very fast and we know that to continue this growth we have to make some difficult decisions. The proposed name change has injected a huge passion back into the club, now we all need to agree our next step and stick together to take the club forward’.
John Summers concluded by saying, ‘Nobody should have had any doubts about the club’s aspirations, all of the investors and members had voted for it, however we have listened to the fans. They have made it very clear to us that if we are changing our name they prefer other options such as ‘Brighton Whitehawk’ or ‘Brighton East End’ so we will all have a beer together and work to build the club’.