‘Atleti stole Athletic’s identity!’

Athletic Bilbao's chief executive Javier Aldazabal has accused Atletico Madrid of 'appropriating' their brand over a century ago.

Atletico were founded in 1903 by three Basque students living in Madrid who wanted to form a youth branch of their favourite club Athletic Bilbao, who had been formed five years earlier.

However, Aldazabal shocked the Basque club's AGM by hitting out at Los Rojiblancos 'stealing' their identity, believing that it would not be allowed in the modern game.

“Athletic is a brand. These day it would be unthinkable that someone came along and called themselves Coca-Cola of the Basque country, or that they swiped someone else’s name, as is what happened 100 years ago when [Atletico Madrid] usurped our colours, name and badge," bemoaned Aldazabal.

“Their badge in 1910 was the same as ours back then. That would be impossible now because the brand is commercially protected. It has been appropriated and after 100 years of permitted use, it’s now complicated.”