The once-named Montreal Impact soccer team certainly has a dedicated fan club. One of its biggest, the Ultras Montréal, along with several other fan clubs, have launched a petition against the new "Club de Foot Montréal" team name.
The petition, which has over 4,800 signatures as of January 25, is "raising an alarm" to show "the real emotion that this rebranding arouses for our community."
It is shameful to thus eliminate an enormous part of the history of a team, of its players, of its supporters, of Montrealers and Quebecers.
The Ultras Montréal fan club, which has been, as they say, "the voice and soul of Saputo Stadium" since 2002, said that "the mere fact of mentioning the Impact has been synonymous with pride for Montrealers and Quebecers who are directly or indirectly interested in football."
They also claim that the team's new branding, which they call "generic," has caused a "rupture between supporters and their club."
Notre Impact: première partie. Pour appuyer cette démarche, signez la pétition et partagez cette publication.… https://t.co/Q6wRolfUYZ— Ultras Montréal (@Ultras Montréal) 1611275520.0
In a statement posted on social media, the group reaffirmed its commitment to the "Montreal Impact" team name and reiterated that the change represents a "great loss of pride" for the city and the players.
CF Montreal, meanwhile, will stand by its new name for the season. President and CEO of CF Montreal, Kevin Gilmore said that the new team identity is "a great metamorphosis that will stimulate and guide our evolution."
The team still recognizes the Ultras Montréal and Association de Supporters de l'Impact de Montréal, both of whom signed the petition, as official supporter clubs on its website.
Despite all the noise around the name, CF Montreal will begin its new season on April 3.