Athletic Club Refuse to Wear New Copa del Rey Winners Patch, Claim They've Won 24 Instead of 23
Introduced this campaign, the new badge depicting each team's number of Copa del Rey trophies is already causing controversy. Thanks to Marcos for the heads-up on this interesting story.
Athletic Club de Bilbao, one of the most successful teams in the competition, are refusing to wear the icon on their shirts due to an old controversy.
A bit like with Juventus in the Serie A, Athletic are refusing to accept their official number of titles won - 23 and instead claim that they've won it 24 times. This is due to the club also counting the 1901-02 'Copa de la Coronación' title, which is regarded as the precursor to the Copa del Rey, which officially started the year after.
There are several issues with the club's stance. For one, the 'Copa de la Coronación' was a friendly trophy and in addition to that it was not won by Athletic Club but instead by 'Bizcaya', a team representing the city of Bilbao that also included players from local side 'Bilbao Football Club'. Bizcaya defeated FC Barcelona 2-1 in the final.
However, the trophy is displayed at the club museum and also mentioned on the official website.
Athletic will travel to third division side Alcoyano, who miraculously defeated Real Madrid in the previous round, for the 2020-21 Copa del Rey Round of 16 on Thursday. It will be interesting to see whether they will continue to ignore the new badge.
Are Athletic's claims on the 1902 title deserved? Comment below.