Stripe A Light!

After much anticipation Saints revealed their new Premier League kits last night.

The home kit is a Red shirt with white pinstripes, red shorts and red socks. The away kit is exactly the same with the colours reversed. I love them. They are simple yet smart.

So, imagine my surprise when I saw some of the outrage aimed at the new uniforms. Comparisons to Cardiff, talk of our identity being ruined and words like “disgrace”. Wow.

It is actually none of those things.

We have, on the whole, played in Red with White stripes, and essentially that is what we have got. To compare it to Cardiff whose, entire home colour has been changed from blue to red is ludicrous. Don’t get me wrong, I am not naive enough to think that some Asian marketing thought might have gone into the design process, hence why Tadanari Lee has been used in the marketing gumph, but we are still going to lineup in a kit that matches our identity.

The New home shirt modelled by Chris from Soccer AM.

People seem to have forgotten that we have played in kits without stripes before.In fact the clubs first kit wasn’t striped at all, as reflected in the 125th anniversary kit in 2010/11.

Starting with the 1980/81 season Saints lined up without striped shirts for a period of seven years, starting with a kit of “thirds” (white middle, red outer) before changing to solid red with white shoulders in 85/86.

Thirds. Is this considered stripes?

Even when Saints went back to stripes in 87/88, only one half of the shirt was striped (pinstriped in fact like the new kit), the the other half was solid red.

Saints didn’t go back to “proper” stripes until 1989/90. It would stay that way until 1999/2000 when we reverted to “thirds” again, although it was the reverse to the previous stint. It was back to stripes in 2001/02 and it stayed that way until the recent 125th anniversary kit, though for a two year period between 1993-95 it was blotted by the abomination that was the Pony tick!

It strikes me that people accept the “thirds” style kits as stripes, at least I don’t remember there being outrage about them (there probably was), but not the pinstripes. Which I find odd. The thickness of the stripes is irrelevant isn’t it?

The problem with kit designers is, they’ve never played the game…

Essentially it doesn’t matter what the design is of the kit, what matters is how the team performs on the pitch. If Saints start the new season well, the lack or perceived lack of stripes will soon be forgotten. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the kit of course, but please everyone calm down.

Our identity isn’t being stolen, it isn’t an outrage and it is no way comparable to the situation at Cardiff. It’s a football strip, and one we will only wear for a year.

Incidentally, of the major English trophies, you have to go back to 1991 for the last striped winner (Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup), the last striped FA Cup winners were Coventry City in 1987, and the last striped League champions were Sunderland in 1936!

Saints won the FA Cup in yellow and had their best league finish in “thirds”….

Chris

14 thoughts on “Stripe A Light!”

  1. Sorry to disagree with you Chris, but I think the home kits biggest crime is that it is just plain dull. I am not bothered about the lack of stripes. In fact my all time favourite Saints kits were the ‘Thirds’ kit as you call it, so ably modelled by Keegan above and second, by a short head, being the sash kit from the season before last.

    My only consolation is that this kit will only last for a year.

    1. No need to apologise. You are entitled to dislike the kit, I don’t have an issue with that, it’s the people who think it is controversial that prompted this post!

      Cheers for reading!

  2. I must disagree and say that the new kit lacks any imagination or creativity……we are arriving back in the premiership and you hear the argument that “we don’t want to look like Sunderland or Stoke”. But the fact remains out of all of these teams we are the most well known for having the stripes!! I just feel we’ve lost our identity a bit with this kit……but what can you do, it’s all about money now….not what the fans want!

  3. My view is that it is a lazy design. It is identical to Sweden’s Umbro Kit but red and white and not yellow and blue. Umbro have made no effort with it. What do we play in when we play Sunderland and Stoke City away?

    1. Agreed. The sash kit was made out to be all original thinking based on our heritage, then umbro used the same template for the USA & Sweden kits. haven’t seen if the USA kit is the same format as this one yet..

  4. I don’t like it because it doesn’t look like a saints kit! Not because its not stripes. Its not just red and white , its red white and black. even the sash had black socks. Bizarrely i think the away kit looks more like a saints shirt because of the red trim and black AAP logo.

    Red and white would be a bizzare chant when we will basically playing in Red. “yellows” was good away too 🙂

  5. What I don’t get is why we don’t have black shorts. That’s what makes it seem like a total kit re-brand – not only to Saints fans but fans of other clubs I’ve spoken to.

    Apart from 2010/11 when we had white shorts, we’ve virtually always had black shorts, no? So why change the shorts?

  6. I might have to post your blog on every forum. What you say is spot on. Fair enough if people don’t like it but then they gone on and complain, of which most of it doesnt make sense, as you have pointed out. I like it, as its fresh and we have had some good kits from umbro. When we prob go back to “normal” stripes next season, that will seem fresh again. Cortese is not stupid, if we had brought out a similar kit as last season, most people would have been happy keeping the old one.

  7. The big problem that I need to get over is that it isn’t the sash which I think was such a great kit, it had our heritage all through it and set us apart from the rest. Ideal in this day in age and branding etc…the new kit is dull IMHO. I realise you are not going to please all the people all the time, and we’ve had some stinkers, the blue Admiral flame away kit, the Hummel (danish Kit) was bobins, as was the rubbish that Townsend is sporting above. The worst ever would have to be the ‘Pony’ kit with the tick. Stank the place out that did.

  8. I’m sorry but I’ve seen exactly this same shirt with a Nottingham forest badge on it being worn by Stan Collymore. Its boring and shouts Forest, Sunderland, or at first glance even Cardiff (their shirt this year could be mistaken for ours…)
    Sorry but not thanks, the club can forget their £40, I may think about the away shirt, at least that looks a little more like a Saints shirt…

  9. What gets me is the level of outrage. Like it or not (and I’m a bit ho hum about it) we wear it for a year, two at most, and then move on. I like looking back at some of the differing kits we’ve had. I certainly find it easier to identify and recall the era when there is some differentiation in kits (eg sash, pony tick, thirds etc). It’s our kit for this year, next year we’ll have another one. People need to move on.

  10. Im not a saints fan but came across your site… and i have to agree with you. the kit looks clean and elegant and really nice whislt still retaining the history of the club by having the pin-stripes in there. Am very interested to see how you boys will fare in the PL, brought up playing good football with a strong squad, you boys should be alright!

    ps what do you make of Claus Lundekvam claim of the betting? has he gone down in your estimations after that??

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