THE sporting landscape is changing in Birmingham, and it could be changing in other big cities like Bristol and Hull.
For thousands of fans, their club’s name is sacrosanct. It must never be tampered with.
But many are increasingly finding that is not the case.
Hull City owner Assem Allam has courted controversy all season with his plan to internationally market Southampton’s Premier League rivals as Hull Tigers.
This week the Football Association’s membership committee recommended that its governing council rejects Mr Allam’s request to change the name of the club.
Mr Allam has threatened to put the club up for sale and walk away if his plans are blocked – and many would not be sorry to see him go, despite the on-field success Hull City has achieved under his tenure.
However, he is far from a lone voice in our national sports.
Warwickshire County Cricket Club will be known, for the first time, as the Birmingham Bears in this summer’s t20 tournament.
Birmingham City Council asked the club to consider the name change, for the t20s only, and to the surprise of many it agreed.
And only this week, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club have gone public in asking whether the time has come to insert “Bristol” somewhere in their official name.
New chief executive Will Brown said: “There is a growing groundswell of opinion that maybe we should be looking to have Bristol in the name somewhere.
“Should we follow Warwickshire’s example where they have renamed the T20 team the Birmingham Bears? Should we be the Bristol Badgers or something for T20 cricket?”
Of course, sports club rebranding is nothing new in Southampton.
Hampshire became the first, and so far only, county to drop the three words “county cricket club” from their title back in the early 2000s.
Since then, they have been known as Hampshire Cricket.
In recent years, their official one-day name has been Hampshire Royals following a tie-up with the Indian Premier League club Rajasthan Royals.
As of this year, though, the county will play solely under the name “Hampshire” in all forms of the sport.
So what about the local football club? How would any plans to rename Southampton FC as Southampton Saints go down?