Southampton Launch New Home Kit- But Is It Saints ?
Wednesday, 29th Jun 2022 22:10
I have to say that as a football kit I like the new Saints home shirt, but for me the problem is it might be bold, it might be brave as the launch campaign boasts, but it doesn't scream Southampton Football Club.
I know I say this every time Saints launch a kit that isn't stripes, but in football it is all about tradition, the truly iconic clubs are recognisable by their shirts, it is part of their very fabric and what makes them stand out from the pack.
Some say Southampton Football Club is about red & white and not just stripes, that is wrong, Liverpool, Manchester United & Arsenal are also red & white, but to be brutally honest if either of those clubs had launched our new home kit as their own today, their fans would be in uproar, they would be talking about tradition, the history of the club and the fact that it is not about a colour scheme it is about a shirt, for Liverpool and man Utd that means solid red and for Arsenal a solid red torso with white sleeves.
The blurb says
"the new strip takes inspiration from the jerseys worn in the early 80s by the likes of Kevin Keegan, Alan Ball, and Charlie George, but with a colour reverse. This time, a central red stripe is the standout feature, along with a central badge."
It may take it's inspiration, but it is nothing like the kit from 1980-1987, yes it is a colour reverse but now the dominant colour is white and not the red of the Keegan era.
In fact the shirt worn by Keegan et al was not even manufactured by Hummel, it was made by Patrick and whoever wrote the PR about being the shirt worn by Keegan, Alan Ball & Charlie George clearly knows nothing about the history of Southampton Football Club.
Keegan of course wore only the Patrick design during his two seasons at the Dell, Alan Ball was a legend at Saints, he played 195 League games in two periods lasting from December 1976- June 1979
His second spell was from March 1981- October 1982, this was the only time he would have played in that Patrick strip, approximately 60 games and about half of them would have been in the blue away kit.
To name Charlie George as an icon in the kit is another faux pas, George was a footballing legend for Arsenal, but not for Southampton, in his injury hit 2 years at the club between March 1979 & March 1981, he played just 44 League games for the club, half of those games were played in the old Admiral kit.
That means that he would have worn the Patrick strip just 22 times in the league and around 8 of them he would have worn the away strip.
I'm sorry but if you want to launch a new kit that's fine, but don't try and dress it up as something it isn't and get your facts right, if the blurb had said as worn by Keegan, Channon, David Armstrong, Steve Williams, Steve Moran & Danny Wallace then I could have seen the point, but whoever wrote this PR took 3 players who had been true legends in the 1970's but with Liverpool, Everton & Arsenal rather than Saints and didn't do their homework.
If there is any inspiration then it is of the Ajax kit and to be honest what have we got to do with the Amsterdam club ?
Sarah Batters, Director of marketing and partnerships at Southampton.
“Being brave is in our DNA. We’ve always looked for new ways to push boundaries and this season’s kit is no different,”
“As part of this launch, we asked players, staff, and fans what bravery means to them and in time we will be releasing some of these stories. Working with Hummel enables us to creatively push our kit designs and this shirt is no different. Celebrating our heritage with a flip on the classic 1980 shirt but modernised with nods to St Mary’s stadium and a bold central badge.”
To be blunt I have never heard such a load of old baloney !
Where is being brave in our DNA ? At least no more than any other football club, I will be interested to see what bravery means to the players staff and fans ? and even more to do so in how it relates to a football shirt design that is different to any design we have ever had, aside from the fact they have flipped the colour design of a shirt worn 40 years ago and regurgitated 4 years ago for what was just about our worst season in the top flight since 2005.
I'm sorry but the "Bold Is Brave" campaign leaves me cold, the only thing Bold about this shirt is the amount of Bold washing powder Saints supporters will go through with the constant washing needed on a predominantly white shirt.
Back in the 1970's & 80's Southampton FC & indeed many football clubs were subjected to some of the most horrendous kit designs ever inflicted on a football club, Hummel were at the centre of some of these horrendous designs, back in 1987 they inflicted the Danish half & half striped kit, universally hated by Saints fans at the time and indeed so much so that the fledgling Ugly Inside fanzine launched the Save Our Stripes campaign that successfully got us back to traditional stripes in 1989/90, now that was a kit that Hummel did get right.
Overall as i say i don't hate this shirt as a football kit, if someone told me it was the new Accrington Stanley kit or Middlesbrough's new strip i would be impressed, but it isn't Saints.
When a football fan in England sees a red & white striped football shirt walking down the street, they think Southampton, Sunderland & Stoke City, they see this shirt and then think lower league team.
I am sure this jersey will sell well, there are people that will buy all the kits whatever the design, but that doesn't make it a good Saints shirt !
Photo: Action Images
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