Essendon To Fight For Bombers Title
The Essendon Bombers and the AFL are seeking legal advice after it emerged that the consortium bidding for a new NRL license plan on calling themselves the Brisbane Bombers.
The Brisbane Bombers, who are seeking admission into the NRL for the 2013 season, registered the company name last week, and will officially reveal the clubs proposed colours and logo at a scheduled announcement in Brisbane today.
“Is this an attempt to trigger conflict?” asked Essendon CEO Ian Robson.
“Maybe it’s a form of flattery. We’re not concerned. If there was any action, it would need to come from the AFL as they own the intellectual properties of the clubs such as colours logos and names. We haven’t seen their logo, obviously the lawyers will look at it once they know what it is.
“I wish them good luck with their expansion but if the Bombers is really their name then we want to make sure that no lines are crossed or blurred.
“Our club has been around for 130 years and the Bomber name has enormous equity as a football club around Australia. There have been examples of teams co-existing such as the Wests Tigers and the Tigers of Richmond, but the Tigers go back a long way in both codes.”
There has been a long history of football teams in Australia sharing club mascots. Canterbury and Footscray have both been known simply as The Bulldogs in both codes since the nineties. Manly and West Coast each share the Eagle, Western Suburbs and Collingwood managed to co-exist as the Magpies for almost a hundred years, and the NSW origin team refers to themselves as the Blues despite the fact that Carlton had the moniker in the 19th century.
In fact just about every team in all of the major Australian Football codes (AFL, NRL, Super Rugby, A-League) shares a mascot with another sporting franchise somewhere in the world. Only the Rabbitohs and Eels (NRL), Cats and Dockers (AFL), Waratahs (Super Rugby) and Brisbane Roar (A-League) can lay claim to having truly unique names.
The move by the Brisbane expansion bid comes earlier than expected, as NRL CEO David Gallop had previously said that the NRL would look at expansion again in 2015, however with the establishment of the independent commission on the horizon, Brisbane Bombers chief Craig Davison is confident he can have a fourth Queensland team up and running in two years.
“We hope the independent commission will come to bear quickly and if they announce tenders before the end of August and close them by the end of October, there’s no reason why we can’t do expansion for 2013.” Davison said.
While the Brisbane Bombers are the front runners to secure an expansion license bids from Perth, Wellington (NZ), Central Queensland, the NSW Central Coast, Papua New Guinea and a combined Ipswich-Toowoomba bid are all being considered by the NRL.