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The colour of money behind bad new kits.

Byline: Roger's RANT

IT was as if it had never been away. We had Fergie ranting after a match and a referee who thinks consistency relates to cement or porridge and has nothing to do with football.

And as the gravy on the pies, Chelsea and Man Utd were both sporting new kits. Yes, football is back in all its tainted glory.

These days, the definition of optimism is a parent buying a replica shirt that is too large, so that little Johnny can grow into it. Unless you attach little Johnny to an airline at the local garage, he has no chance before the next shirt arrives. Hands up, anyone who knows of a replica shirt that sticks around long enough to wear out? Have you noticed, though, that new kits these days are not just kits, they are living tributes to some legacy dredged up by shiny marketing men.

United, for example, are wearing the V kit to commemorate a century of Old Trafford (opened in 1910) and to pay tribute to the jersey worn in their first FA Cup triumph in 1909 - yeah, whatever.

Their Nike kit also bears an uncanny resemblance to Nike's V for Victory campaign earlier this year - clever marketing, or what? 'You saw the movie, now buy the shirt'. Both home and away kits have official expiry dates of July 2010 when, no doubt, they will spontaneously combust.

Chelsea's kit was launched in May to catch a summer of selling and, according to their website: "draws inspiration from looks that have graced the King's Road over the years".

In other words, their history is too dull to inspire even a shirt.

Arsenal's new kit honours their all-conquering side of the 1930s, while Villa's new away kit marks the club's link with England and the 67 internationals Villa have provided over the years. It's amazing what a white shirt can tell you. Time Team's archaeologists will be deciphering a long-dead fan's XXXL away kit in 2209.

Meanwhile, over at Everton - new kit inspired by their league and European success in 1984/85 - there is a new away strip of black and pink inspired by ... I hate to even guess.

Down the pecking order, no doubt some club's new shirt was inspired by the team finishing 14th in the Third Division North in 1931.

But, let's be honest, they are all 'inspired' - the kit word of the moment - by one thing....the legacy of tills jangling at pounds 40-pounds 50 a pop plus shorts, socks and leisurewear.

Yes, football is back.

ROGER CLARKE

Read Roger's blog at * www.birminghammail.net
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 13, 2009
Words:435
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