The Scottish lion and the word ‘Prepared’ have been part of the Aston Villa crest since the club’s foundation in 1874 and modifications have been few.
On 6 April 2016, the club confirmed that it would be using a new badge from the 2016 - 2017 season after consulting fan groups for suggestions. The lion in the new badge has claws added to it, and the word "Prepared" was removed to increase the size of the lion and club initials in the badge.
2016 - Present
In the spring of 2016, Aston Villa completed a historically poor season. The team came bottom of the Premier League and were relegated. In the midst of all this, the club introduced a new emblem costing around £100,000 – a huge sum for minor alterations like the lion’s acquisition of a more heraldic look… and claws. On top of this, the motto ‘Prepared’ was removed to make the lion bigger.
2007 - 2016
On August 14th, 2006 the American Randy Lerner bought Aston Villa for £62.6 million. To symbolize the beginning of a new era, this emblem was introduced the following year. The white star reflects the victory against Bayern Munich in the 1982 European Cup. The motto Prepared has been used since 1878.
2000 - 2007
With the arrival of the new millennium, the lion was modernized and the abbreviation F.C. was dropped. The claret and light-blue stripes symbolize the colors of the shirt, which haven’t changed since 1887.
1992 - 2000
The original lion was red, but during the 20th century, there were white, claret, and light-blue variations until this one was introduced in 1992. Since then, Villa’s lion has been yellow.
1973 - 1992
The rampant lion from Scotland’s national crest was Aston Villa’s first emblem and has never been replaced. Prior to this badge, the lion could be seen without the surrounding shield as well.
1969 - 1973
In 1969, the shield is gone as the blue lion is above the initials “AV” in blue on a red background.
1956 - 1969
The Scottish lion is back in red on a blue with a gold trim shield. Below is a blue with a gold trim banner with a wordmark “PREPARED” in gold.
1886 - 1956
A major change to the crest in 1886, as a shield with several colors of blue, red, and yellow in different patterns. A banner below in white with a wordmark “FORWARD” in black.
1878 - 1886
The Scottish identity assumed its greatest importance when McGregor decided the lion from Scotland’s royal crest should be the emblem of Aston Villa.