Their home kits clash with teams playing in red. Did you get it? No, me neither. However, against each of these sides this season Liverpool ditched their famous red kit to wear what is some quite horrid away strips. At Loftus Road Sunday Sky Sports questioned the change and were told it was a decision made by “the club”. They could have at least suggested it clashed with the red numbering on the blue and white hooped shirts of their opponents.
My thoughts instantly turned to Bill Shankly who decided in the 1960’s to change to an all red strip, as the ‘players looked like giants’ against the opposition – an early indication of the psychological benefit of such elements of the game. Even the Official website states that ‘It has become a symbol of our spirit and an important part of our tradition’. So important they are content to toss it aside for commercial interest!
This particular issue is close to my heart, however, they are not the only culprits. Newcastle and Arsenal are among those taking similar decisions this season and I cannot see the reasoning behind it.
Most fans will, like me, buy a home shirt, even if pink with green strips, yet those that go to added expense of purchasing one of the many alternative shirts introduced do so on the basis that there is something aesthetically pleasing about it personally. The more the team wears a particular kit has little bearing on fans desire to buy and I have never seen the collective tone within away sections change to the colours sported by those on the pitch.
Football in this country is a fantastic, passionate, near tribal experience for regular fans and clubs sporting the colours woven into the rich traditions of those we follow are as important as the efforts expected from the players pulling on jerseys we so coveted as children. Individuals at the top should consider such diminutive commercial benefits before they destroy traditions we as fans hold dear.
By Kevin Pogorzelski @gameinnumbers
Kevin writes for TheFootballMagazine.com and Gameinnumbers.wordpress.com