Ayr United face legal action over team badge

Ayr United strip.

Ayr United strip.

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A football club has been threatened with legal action after being told that their badge breaks ancient heraldic law.

Ayr United are accused of breaking a law - which dates back to King Charles II, as their crest is deemed to be an unregistered coat of arms.

The dressing room at Somerset Park.

The dressing room at Somerset Park.

The Scottish League One leaders’ badge is a shield with scroll bearing the team’s name along with a saltire - all of which fall foul of the ancient legislation.

It is understood that the legal threat is the result of a complaint by a rival team’s fan to the ancient Court of Lord Lyon.

They must now apply to the ancient Court of Lord Lyon to redraw their badge and face a fight to keep the saltire on the crest.

The club have already ordered their kits for next season so any changes would not come into place until season 2017/18.

We are dealing with the oldest heraldic register in the world here. It is a very serious matter.

Alexander Gree, Procurator Fiscal to the court of Lord Lyon

Tracy McTrusty, the operations manager at the club, said: “We need to work under strict guidelines to make sure the badge is legal so we’re thinking we might need to slightly alter the shape of it or do a full redesign.

“We’re trying to look at the positives for now. We can use this as an opportunity to rebrand ourselves and ask any fans who are good graphic designers to come up with a new logo.

“It would cost £3,000 to register the crest as a coat of arms but we’re told it probably wouldn’t happen because it has a saltire on it and we’re not a national institution.”

Ayr United were founded in 1910 but did not start using the badge until the mid-1950s.

Fellow League One side Airdrieonians were forced into making a change to their badge last season after also falling foul of the heraldic law.

Alexander Green, the Procurator Fiscal to the court of Lord Lyon, said that he had made suggestions to the club on potential changes.

He suggested three different options which were to apply for a grant of arms from Lyon, render the current badge to be non-heraldic or redesign it to be non-heraldic.

He said: “I have made suggestions to the club about what changes they can make.

“We are dealing with the oldest heraldic register in the world here. It is a very serious matter.

“We only look into these cases when asked to investigate. It is not a case of searching for football club badges and going after people.

“The law is the law and if Ayr United have been found to have broken it, then they will have too make changes.”

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