Solid history in solid colours

As far as symbolism goes it could not have been more clear when at midnight on Monday pictures emerged of the new all claret Bradford City strip.

“You have to earn your stripes,” it seems to say “and you lot didn’t.”

The storm around the new kit which will be seen for the now common twelve months before no doubt vanishing in a wave of Save Our Stripes and Back To Basic campaigns is inevitable and one wonders how football fans ended up so conservative. Every club cherishes not it’s past but rather a section of that past which is deemed as being the right part of history to savour.

The new strip more closely resembles the amber yoke on claret of 1911 some may say, others will point out that one solid colour simply looks nicer. Both schools of thought have merit but as with everything City related the grumbles will rumble.

One wonders why, in anticipation of these grumbles, City would bother with this switch at all. One doubts it will sell more shirts with those who are given to replicas probably buying and those who are not being unmoved but perhaps a mentality has it that ‘forcing’ fans into buying new shirts will earn much needed revenue. Certainly I’ve never felt a compulsion to buy any shirt more or less based on the design. It is what it is, or rather what it becomes.

Don Revie’s Leeds United dumped the blue and yellow civic coloured for a Real Madrid white which is now considered traditional and few Manchester United fans consider green and yellow halves worth returning to. Football kits tend to be judged by the success a team has in them.

Back to back promotions, cup runs, good times. should these follow then the stripes may end up consigned to history for by a new generation of fans.

If not then back to the stripes and try again.

(Yet another) new set of kits for City

Bradford City has today released images of the new home and away kit for the upcoming season, and while they are bound to be talked about by many I’m personally questioning why. It’s only a year ago since they last released new home and away kits, and that came only a year after releasing another. Without ever drawing much attention to the matter, it appears to have become club policy to bring out new home and away kits every season.

It would be grossly unfair to accuse the club of ripping off us supporters; we continue to enjoy paying less for season tickets than pretty much every other English professional club and long may that continue. Yet it’s hard to believe the reason for changing kits so often is for anything more than to make a few extra quid. A decade ago changing a kit every two seasons used to attract howls of derision in the media, now it’s seemingly accepted that clubs can do it as often as they like. The one saving grace being the prices have barely increased.

But why does it need to be this way at City? Why can’t the two types of kit last for two seasons, but refresh each one alternative summers? New home kit this season, new away kit the one after. That would still allow those who like to purchase the latest strip with the chance to splash the cash each year, perhaps ultimately spending even more by buying each one instead of choosing between the particular summer’s home and away kit.

Perhaps I’m in no position to moan, the last time I bought a City home shirt was that not-so-wonderful centenary year. But maybe more people like me would be willing to part with our hard-earned and buy the new shirt if it was guaranteed not to be out of date less than 12 months later.

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