I’m not really the best when it comes to checking my Email.
So when wading through this blogs inbox the other day I was surprised to find a stack of press releases from Warrior, the firm that’s manufactured our new kit for this season.
More about the home kit later however the releases concerning the second kit, which we saw being worn against Spurs the other day, are works of art in the best traditions of Ad Fab or Jessica Hynes’ wonderful portrayal of “Head of Brand” in the TV comedy 2012.
The new kit, which replaces last season’s Adidas efforts, isn’t being introduced to everyone. No it is, according to Warrior, being “unleashed” as if it is some ravenous carnivore that’s going to jump at you wrap it’s sleeves around you and rip your throat out! For Warrior it’s more than just a shirt for players and fans to wear. Said Richard Wright, one of their senior bods…
“The away kit draws strong parallels from the uniforms worn by the Liverpool dockyard workers who plied their trade at the Mersey Docks – the world’s most influential ship building at the turn of the 20th century. Specifically inspired by the kit worn between 1900 and 1906, the away shirt features a prominent yoke detail set over a distinct colour palette of black and raven grey.”
Nice one Richard that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw it. By the way last time I looked at my Stranglers LP cover, raven’s were black! What next a kit which draws of Liverpool’s musical tradition with “Sergeant Pepperesque” braid down the front and epaulettes on the shoulders? You can have that idea for nothing!
The third kit spiel is just as “interesting”….
“Inspiration behind the kit’s dominant nightshade colour stems from popular past goalkeeper kits worn by David James during the 1994/95 and 1995/96 seasons, and Pepe Reina in 2010/11. Ancient tribal warrior markings have been set along the outer sides of the sleeves and side panels – a design first for the Club. Beyond the third kit, this tribal graphic features heavily throughout the 2012/13 Liverpool FC range of apparel and accessories.”
Of all the Liverpool players we could be inspired by David James isn’t one that immediately springs to mind however, each to his own. The sleeves, well I can just imagine myself in the pub proudly wearing the shirt and boasting to my mates “see these sleeves – ancient tribal warrior markings those” I’ll be the envy of everyone, once they’ve stopped rolling over the floor with laughter.
Nonetheless Steven Gerrard likes both kits. The third kit press release quotes him as saying…
“The new third kit is completely different from anything we’ve had at LFC during my time at the Club; it’s part of a new era and is a great design. The players love it.”
Of the home kit he said
“Warrior has designed a kit that embodies everything that is great about Liverpool Football Club I’m extremely happy with the reintroduction of the amber yellow Liver Bird crest and the stitching gives it that extra touch of quality. For fit, comfort and functionality, it’s one of the best kits I’ve worn – the fans will love it.”
Yes, and on both accounts add the words “it says here” at the end Steven!
The shirt fabric, it’s called Scafé, had it existed at the time, appears to consist out of something NASA would have probably bedecked the space shuttle with., no wait perhaps Jamie Oliver has a use for it
“….an innovative, antimicrobial fabric made with coffee grounds. As well as being environmentally friendly, Scafé is fast drying, assists with odor control and provides UV protection.”
Coffee grounds? Fantastic if you’re thirsty and there is no Nescafe to hand just pop it in the kettle! The technique for putting all this together, we are told is, something called “War-Tech”. Now forgive me for being cynical but isn’t this just an amalgamation of the words “Warrior” and “technology”? Still nice idea next time I want a cheese sandwich I’ll call the assembly process “Breadchedder” sorry “Bre-ched”, or “Breached”!
As you can gather I’m not an LFC kit junkie (apart from a period in the late eighties I never really was) so will openly admit that I won’t be buying it. Nothing against Warrior and their new coffee infused designs or their entertainingly pretentious descriptions I just think there is too much milking of the market in this area particularly in relation to third kits, European kits and away kits. Kids put pressure on their parents for the latest design and at around £35 a pop (and that is just the shirt) it costs. Nonetheless I appreciate there is market for this sort of stuff and the new deal with Warrior is worth around £25m a year to us (or one and a quarter Stuart Downings), a British record and therefore not something to be sniffed at?
The term for the new home kit is, I believe, “retro”. Gone are the white stripes (if it’s Adidas), cuffs and collars that have populated our kit for as long as I can remember. Instead we have just plain old red with “amber yellow” (Warrior’s words not mine) for the badge, sponsors wording and, (this is new) a bit on the back – a memorial flame remembering the 96.
The new design, particularly, moving the flame and our reverting back to the traditional liver bird crest rather the badge that incorporated the flame along with the Shankly Gates, has attracted criticism from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign because they were not consulted cover the changes. I can’t help feeling they are being a tad oversensitive and unnecessary about this. The Hillsborough Family Support group was consulted and they agreed to the new design. If the representatives of the families of those who suffered agreed then what is the problem? Indeed it could be argued that separating the flame from the badge gives the issue more prominence and even if you disagree, surely the club and Warrior are still honouring and remembering those who suffered albeit in a different way?
Should everyone at Liverpool be expected to tread on egg shells every time they make a decision for fear offending everyone? It was considerate that they consulted someone re this subject (kit) when they have every right to do what they want? Liverpool FC has a demonstrable history of remembering the 96 and I’ve no doubt they will continue to do so, always. Perhaps the HJC has hidden issues with the club we don’t know about, however arguing the toss over a shirt is surely not the excuse they need to cross swords?
What do I think of the new design? It is nice to see the old Liver Bird released from the clutter of the old badge and the 96 given extra prominence albeit on the back, however for all this and Warrior’s verbose nonsense – it’s red and Liverpool play in red so that’s good enough for me!