Shirty about shirts

ShirtsAs I watched the U21’s last week playing in shirts numbered 1 to 11, I became rather nostalgic for the old days before shirts displayed squad numbers and sponsors’ names. I must admit that I find squad numbers very helpful in identifying new players but I don’t like sponsors’ names on shirts.  Anyone ignorant of the commercial aspect of the sport would look at my team’s shirts and assume I was supporting a team called Zapaygo.

I also don’t like the fact that some of the big clubs have sponsorship deals worth more than my club.  Manchester United gets £47m per year from Chevrolet, their shirt sponsor. And from next season, they will get £75 million per year from Adidas for the right to make their kit. Football clubs used to make most of their money from fans that came to watch games and not from TV and sponsorship deals.  Nowadays, big clubs could make a profit even if they didn’t charge for admission.  And even Birmingham City gets more money from commercial revenue than from gate receipts. And this, according to Professor John Samuels, of Birmingham University, is the reason why fans do not have more power: “If the fans want to show their power, it is not enough to stay away from matches to show their displeasure, they need to boycott the products of the companies which support the club.”

I do realise that we can’t turn the clock back and abolish sponsors and am grateful that Birmingham City aren’t sponsored by Wonga.  I also know that local sponsors can really help smaller clubs.  For example, Kirdford Cougars under-12 team is being sponsored by a local branch of Specsavers; they have provided new kits and a free pair of prescription sports goggles for one of the players.  That sounds nice and helpful but I think that it may be taking things too far to have “a special post-season award to give to one of the players – the ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ trophy.”

4 thoughts on “Shirty about shirts

  1. Dean

    Man U’s shirt deal is worth more than our club. That’s an interesting and true perspective, not only for us either.

    On shirts I was mystified why we need a third (Orange) kit that they played in for some odd reason against Millwall. We only really need it should Crystal Palace be away opponents in the cup. But it seems to be popular as a few were wearing them at the Valley. Blues wore blue shorts on Saturday, another kit mystery.

    The club were quick to sell branded’Peaky Blinders’ caps following the success of the BBC drama series but I wonder if associating ourselves with the City’s violent past is a good thing. Whatever,many fans do like the look and have become quite dandyish at away grounds adopting early 20th century apparel. That’s something sets us apart from Man U and the main stream.

  2. Paul Martin

    In the 1970s the blue and red penguin had the 3rd kit as the German flag but that still meant away at West Ham in all white
    In 2006-07 the second and third kits were inter Milan and ac Milan which meant that at Crystal palace and Oldham we wore the home team’s change kit

  3. Alan Watton

    Boycotting the clubs sponsors? I have always boycotted football clubs sponsors but not ours. This means never eating Muller Rice, using Mita copiers and giving up gambling. I also sold my Rover car which was only a year old. They went out of business soon after!!

  4. Dean

    I think the reason we played in all white at West Ham in the 70s was because our blue shirts were in the wash and our BELGIAN flag kit (fantastic) was outlawed as from side on with black shorts and shirts Trevor Francis and co might have been mistaken for the referee who at that time always wore black.

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