Sunderland AFC are exploring the possibility of changing the club badge to a 'simpler design', Executive Director Charlie Methven has said.
The Black Cats' director revealed at a recent meeting with the Supporters Collective group, held at the Stadium of Light, that, as part of a review into merchandising, the badge was being looked at.
The minutes of the meeting, published on the Red & White Army website, read: "[Charlie Methven] said the badge and motto were being looked at, working towards a simpler design that would be easier to put on merchandise and kit."
He added that: "It was important to understand who you were before making decisions, making sure you understand your market and what you have that will meet the needs of that market."
The current crest has been used since the 1997/98 season, coinciding with the club's move to the Stadium of Light from Roker Park.
Charlie Methven told the Echo: "It's one aspect of the club we are currently looking at and asking questions as to can we do things better.
"We are looking at can we do things that would be more appropriate, more relevant to our fans and this historic club.
"This is about a dialogue with fans to understand and examine what we currently do. To understand why we do them and to understand if it is what the fans want.
"From the badge itself, what I remember coming to Roker Park in the 80s and 90s, is that it was a very distinctive badge which left you in no doubt as to what Sunderland was about and its heritage and history.
"The current badge isn't offensive but it leaves you questioning what it means.
"It feels to me, and this is my opinion, like some sort of attempt at some form of historic, aristocratic club grand crest and not the passion, history and heritage of Sunderland and its football club.
"In the same vein, we are looking at the nickname the Black Cats, what's the historic relevance to fans, and the name of the ground.
"Of course none of these decisions would be made without consulting and listening to what the fans want.
"If fans come back and say strongly that they love the badge then quite clearly we will stick with the badge. We are not going to trample over that.
"We are like a restorer of an historic painting where additions have been made over the years and we are peeling back to the original to reveal the true masterpiece that this club is.
"But if fans are clear in that they want to change, then there will be change.
"When you look at a club like Arsenal and you look at their symbol and what they are known as, it's unthinkable that Arsenal would change their badge and name in anyway and my perception is that Sunderland should be very much the same.
"It may not be the badge has to go back to exactly what it was before. It may go back with a couple of tweaks. But one thing is certain, it will be what the fans want and it will be the best we can do for this club, that we believe is great."
The current badge contains the Latin motto 'Consectatio Excellentiae' which means 'In Pursuit Of Excellence'.