Radio-Canada Sports reported on Tuesday that the Montreal Impact will have a new name.
The state corporation’s sports department did not specify the nature of its source or the number of sources reporting the information.
Subsequently, The Canadian Press received a text from an Impact spokesperson saying the team “never comments on rumours.
The Montreal Impact was founded in 1993 and made its debut in the American Professional Soccer League. He also played in A-League, USL, USSF and NASL, before making the jump to MLS in 2012.
2021 will be the club’s tenth season in elite football in north America.
Impact fans have already taken to social media and the overwhelming response to the rumour is negative, although a few do see it as an OK move. Those in disagreement with any such decision (if one has already been made) will always be heard louder than those in agreement.
A re-naming of course, smacks of a marketing move, however there will need to be a compelling reason as many fans will not accept change simply for change sake or for an unconvincing marketing campaign.
This could also be a deliberate leak on behalf of the club to gauge reaction, but should they decide to proceed with renaming the club, it’s likely to be a tough sell to the supporter base, especially if Montreal Impact is to become Montreal FC.
That makes it look like the club is following the lead of arch-rivals, Toronto FC.
But FC Montreal tends to European-ize things much more, so perhaps there’s less contentious ground with this option.
Europeans have long scoffed at MLS club names, and NASL names prior to that, but there is no obligation on the part of north American football or soccer clubs to adopt European-ized names, even though lately some MLS newcomers have: Inter-Miami, Atlanta United, Minnesota United, New York City and FC Cincinnati etc. Even Nashville kept it simple, although they went for SC instead of FC, maintaining more of an American identity with the use of the word ‘soccer’ rather than ‘football’.
Montreal of course has had other professional clubs under other names, which previously played in NASL. Montreal Olympique played in seasons 1971-73 and included a young Graeme Souness, who made 10 appearances, then Montreal Manic took over the old Philadelphia Fury franchise in 1981 and played on until 1983 with the likes of Gordon Hill (ex-Manchester United), Andy Lynch (ex-Celtic) and Tony Towers (ex-Manchester City).
Le Manic as they were called, were named after a river in northeast Quebec, the Manicouagan, site of a massive hydroelectric project at the time.
The news of this latest name-change could run and run, although it may also simply disappear.... as if nothing ever happened.