• Name change... A composition logo based on the working image for New York City FC. (SBS)
Melbourne Heart will be renamed Melbourne City FC after the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season, with the club's new ownership keen to bring the A-League team into line with its other properties.
By
SBS EXCLUSIVE: Greg Prichard

23 Jan 2014 - 1:01 PM  UPDATED 23 Jan 2014 - 1:48 PM

Football Federation Australia (FFA) approved the acquisition of Heart on Thursday, by a consortium led by English Premier League giant Manchester City, in partnership with a group of owners of National Rugby League side Melbourne Storm, in a deal strikingly similar to that which the English club shares with New York Yankees.

In 2013 City, in partnership with the Yankees bought the franchise expansion rights for New York City FC, a Major League Soccer team set to enter that competition in 2015.

Within minutes of the news breaking that a similar partnership has guaranteed the future of Heart, speculation turned to the future of the club's name and identity.

A group called MHFC Holdings Pty Limited lodged a trademark under the name Melbourne City Football club on 16 January 2014.

Sources close to the deal confirmed to The World Game that Heart will change to "Melbourne City FC" in a broader re-branding of the club that will take place at the end of the season.

When contacted by TWG, Storm co-owner Gerry Ryan refused to deny the speculation, saying: "Nothing has been formalised, we are going to have a look at everything in three months' time and take stock then."