Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Memo to New Balance: Don't Muck Up the 'Pool




For most fans of the world's game, Liverpool FC is one of the world's iconic clubs, and their all-red kit equally so. Granted, if you are a supporter of Everton, United, Chelsea, Arsenal, etc, you probably despise the Reds. But those of us outside the Kingdom with no dog in the fight appreciate the club's storied history and proud legacy. Liverpool FC is football. We're talking about Bill Shankly, 18 Leagues, 7 FA Cups, 5 UEFA Champions' Leagues, the Kop, Hillsborough. And of course, You'll Never Walk Alone, which, when sung by Liverpool supporters at Anfield(and abroad) before important matches, can be one of the most spine-tingling moments in world football. Mind you, all these plaudits are coming from an AC Milan supporter, who Lord knows should still be bitter about a certain tragic night in Istanbul...

I bring up Liverpool because this is a club that has recently lost its way in the kit department. Starting with the 2012-2013 season, Liverpool entered into a contract with new-kid-on-the-block Warrior Sports. The result has been a decidedly mixed bag of kits, with the good ones being few and far between, and the bad ones being really, really bad.

Warrior's best effort in my opinion was their first Liverpool home kit for 2012/13. I enjoyed the simplicity of it and I also liked the retro feel of incorporating the simple "Liverbird" logo as the crest as opposed to the more intricate badge of recent decades. I do love that intricate badge with the Shankly gates, the Hillsborough flames, and the "YNWA" inscription though, but a change for one season or a couple of seasons is not a big deal. After that, I really cannot say that I liked any of Warrior's other Liverpool efforts, be they home, away, 3rd, or keeper. Some of those designs are really garish and I have a hard time understanding how Warrior expects someone to wear that outside. There's always the die-hards, I guess. Also, the piping on the current home jersey just makes the shirt look ill-fitting somehow. It's really just a mess with this club right now and it is really unbecoming of a club of Liverpool's stature. Just look at some of these Adidas designs of the 90's. Those are some tremendous shirts with some fabulous detailing. I've had my issues with Adidas in the past, but it must be said that for the most part, Adidas outfitted 'Pool with the respect and reverence that the club deserves. Warrior's been trying to make them look like a red version of Bolton Wanderers.

Now comes word that Warrior's parent company New Balance will be folding the Warrior brand and incorporating it into New Balance. This means that starting with the 2015/16 season, Liverpool shirts will be made by New Balance for the remainder of the contract. We here at The Football Kit Blog hope that this change will provide New Balance with an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and give a club as big and important as Liverpool some class shirts that the supporters can be proud of. We are intrigued at the prospect of the New Balance brand entering the football kit market and will be monitoring developments closely.




1 comment:

Clubtray Football said...

Liverpool FC is one of Europe's most successful and iconic football clubs having won 18 first-division league titles, 5 UEFA Champions League titles, 7 FA Cups ...