Transalpino is well established in Liverpool for not only sourcing rare trainers and shoes, but also priding themselves on their own in-house clothing range wore by Scousers and beyond.
It’s no secret that Brendan Wyatt, or better known as ‘Jockey’ is an avid Red, so we took time out to discuss a recent situation that affected the love for his club, which has now had a positive impact during the hysteria of the COVID-19 outbreak.
We know you’re a massive red, so how did it make you feel when Liverpool FC announced they wanted to trademark the word ‘Liverpool’?
I’ve been supporting LFC my whole life and have travelled the world watching the reds over the course of the last few decades and I’ve been lucky enough to see my team do unbelievable things. The application was a bit of a shock but we weren’t surprised to tell you the truth because back in 2010 they trademarked the Liverbird.
LFC under previous owners failed with an application in the UK but sneaked it in the back door by making an application in the EU which covered the UK. So LFC wanting to trademark the word ‘Liverpool’ was a progression we were aware could arise in the future. It came out of the blue though with no discussions or consultations before LFC submitted the application, so we were blind sided in terms of timing.
We decided to get together as a group and oppose the application. We found we had a lot of support for our position.
LFC’s trademark application came to light when they insisted it was purely ‘in the context of football products & services’ and to stop people benefiting from the sales of ‘inauthentic products’ what was your thoughts on this?
We believed that the terms of the application were unworkable and unnecessary, as there are many other ‘football context related products and services’ that bare the name ‘Liverpool’ but aren’t LFC related. We also felt like the club had enough intellectual property rights in place in order to protect themselves from ‘inauthentic products’.
LFC may have applied in good faith but we don’t think they properly thought through the implications and ramifications of their business decision on the city and Independent Traders in particular.
We know from experience how bad owners can manipulate and strip the assets of football clubs, FSG may have the clubs best interests at heart now, but what happens if several owners down the line the club ends up in unscrupulous hands? Once a trademark is granted it’s like opening Pandora’s box you never know where it might take you. If the trademark had been been granted then it would have be potentially open to abuse in the future.
We have no objections to LFC owning the name ‘Liverpool FC’ and various other assorted other trademarks in order to protect their brand but the name ‘LIVERPOOL’ belongs to the city and its people since King John granted us a charter in 1207. We believe no one should be beholden to anyone over the use of our cities name, now or in the future.
What sort of impact do you think it would have had on our city if the trademark application had been accepted?
I think the impact would have been immeasurable as once granted you don’t know how it’s going to apply now or in the future. Some of the lads in our group have been selling merchandise at Anfield since before the club even had its own souvenir shop and the business has been passed down through generations.
With all due respect to LFC the people within their merchandise team dont come close to creativity, passion and authenticity we add to our products. I’ve seen Liverpool play in 35 countries, Mick from Hat Scarf and A Badge has only missed two home games since 1977! We have lived and breathed the club and the culture and totally get it.
Transalpino is not an LFC brand, however lots of lads at the match wear our gear, lots of our products have ‘Transalpino Liverpool’ on them (the city not the club) so it’s possible we could have been effected. Others like Scouse 4 Tee, Hat Scarf & A Badge and Love Follow Conquer are primarily LFC related and would feel it greatly.
The application was rejected, which must have felt like a huge victory for not only the ones who appealed but it also sends a massive statement to the people of Liverpool?
The application was rightly rejected on the grounds that Liverpool is too geographically significant….who can argue with that?!
We had some great people on board with us a young lady named Lucy Rimmer and Brian Gould who owns a lot of the stalls in the city centre – a very shrewd and resilient character…and a big Evertonian, a guy from a merchandising company called Fansworld and the lads from local merchandising companies Lyver Designs and 12th Man Merchandise It was a massive victory not just for all those involved but for the city as a whole.
Those of us who appealed did it for the greater good of everyone to ensure no one was constrained from using the word ‘Liverpool’ in a creative way. We are a world famous name for a host of things not just the football club that took on our city name. Liverpool belongs to nobody but it’s people and that’s the way it should stay.
Now you’ve recently announced that a ‘War Chest’ built to finance any future legal fees, you will now be donating the funds to local foodbanks & charities during the challenge of COVID-19 outbreak?
Yes we built up a ‘War Chest’ of money in order to pay for any legal fees as and when necessary, but in this time of crisis when everyone is struggling amid the COVID -19 outbreak we thought the money could be put to much better use helping those who are struggling within our community.
The pandemic has hit everybody hard but especially those who were already the most vulnerable in society so we wanted to do what we could to help out. Solidarity is key to our ethos.
Can you provide us with any details so other people in the city and beyond can help this cause?
We chose a range of different charities who we know work directly with those most vulnerable in our community and tried to cover as many sectors as we could. From foodbanks to OAP services and mental health charities.
- Paul Lavelle Foundation (Domestic abuse)
- Fans for Foodbanks
- Kirkdale ABC (Foodbanks)
- Ashley High School. (Special educational needs mini bus appeal)
- Evelyn Primary School (Sensory room appeal for Special educational needs children)
- Ashley High School (sports equipment special educational needs children) plus one other Elderly persons charity which I’m just waiting to confirm.
Lastly, we would just like to say what you and others are doing is genuinely heart-warming at this testing time of uncertainty, do you have any major plans once better days come?
Thank you. We are just trying to help our community at this time of uncertainty, as I said our ethos is based on solidarity. Scousers know how to stick together and get through tough times together by supporting one another.
We all need to do that now….help each other out. We plan to work together as a collective creative group known as the ‘Liverpool Independent Traders Enterprise’ in order to support and protect each other and the interests of our city and community.
Independent businesses are the life blood of our communities and by working together we hope to achieve a brighter future for everyone.
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