Friday, 22 July 2011

Should we buy a kit even if we don't like it?

I'll start by saying I don't like the new kit, didn't like it when I first saw it and even though it looks better now we have official pictures and it's now on sale, I still don't like it. This blog will divide opinions somewhat as there are fans that will buy the kit no matter how it looks and there are others who wont buy it if it's a dog. The 2011-12 Manchester City kit has definitely divided opinion amongst fans. Some like it, some absolutely hate it, others have yet to pass judgement on it either way.

Before I get into this I know there are varying factors in this but for the sake of the discussion I will assume the supporter is financially stable and able to purchase at least 1 kit a season as well as go to games and so on and so on.

When we first got a glimpse of the 2011-12 home kit there was almost a universal outcry of "oh my god, that's got to be a fake" as we were presented with two poorly lit pictures of two people of an undisclosed Asian origin (one who was sadly a little out of shape and would make an Armani suit look bad) donning the kit around a month before the reveal.

Then we saw more versions on the Internet of just the shirt and we could see it in better detail. Although the shade of blue now looked correct there was still plenty to be upset about for most fans. Admittedly when we got a glimpse of a leaked video it did again look a little better than the pictures we'd seen. But it was still not enough to convince the masses. Some vehemently ripped into it while others took a less aggressive approach and wanted to wait until they saw the players in it or saw it in person before making their mind up.

Here it is as shown on (see right). And  it still divides opinions even now. A recent poll suggested that only 1/10 said they liked it, 4/10 said they didn't like it and 5/10 said they were undecided about it. Out of those, around 2/10 said they'd buy it regardless of whether they liked it or not as long as it was official City merchandise. The remaining numbers said they were either going to wait until they had decided on whether they liked it, or said they were going to buy the away kit, 3rd kit or one of the training tops that are sold by the club. I bet that's not the kind of thing Umbro are wanting to hear after they have obviously spent a lot of time thinking about certain design aspects and how to incorporate that into the kit.

So that's how it stands at the moment, and it's clear that some will still buy the shirt no matter what and that's a good thing if they want to do it. But what of those that don't want to buy it? Should they? Does the buying of said shirt show you are more loyal to the club?

I personally wont be buying it. I honestly feel Umbro have had a nightmare with this kit. The idea behind it is fantastic if I'm honest, but the overall execution of the shirt as a whole is very poor in comparison to the last 2 seasons. Both the 2009-10 and the 2010-11 home kits were greeted with astounding praise by fans on the whole. Not only was the design simple and very classy the material used felt far superior to any of our previous kits.

But should I buy it anyway? Would buying it prove my loyalty to the club? Although some might say yes to both of those I completely disagree. I have no problem with people who want to buy it anyway, but to question a person's loyalty to the club because they don't want to buy it is ludicrous. I, along with many others, have proven our loyalty to the club by sticking with it through the hard times, enduring year upon year of underachievement, and in some cases relegation. That is true loyalty. 

Thankfully it is only a very small percentage of those who will buy it regardless who think that way. It's usually the same people who throw the line "I bet you don't have a season ticket" to others in an attempt to suggest that your opinions count more the longer you've had a season ticket (or card/membership as the case is now).

I actually fear that because of City's new-found following coupled with the wider availability of the shirt that it will sell in record numbers leaving the Umbro designers with a false sense of success. That's not saying those that do buy it regardless are wrong for doing so, I just hope Umbro seriously look at the feedback they've got from it instead of the numbers sold when designing the next kit, which will no doubt start relatively soon.

Am I wrong for not wanting to buy it? I'd say no, I'll just use that money and buy something else from the Club that I do like. It's not as though there's a shortage of things to buy is it? There's plenty of clothing on offer, the Umbro diamond range, sportswear, training kits, as well as the club's other fashion items. That's as well as the away kit and the third kit of course.

Before I leave I'm going to show you a few designs that were suggested by several fans and were developed by Paul 'Hartie' Hart. Let me know what you think of them.
If you want to check out Paul's other (professional) work go to 

1 comment:

  1. i'm a lemming. bought it even though i didn't like it at first site. had it in my hands and put it on and was like a kid on christmas. fits good looks smart on. love the club and the badge too much to "hate" a shirt. =)


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