GLF75: Tommy likes our new strip
The current Puma Motherwell strip is the best for a long while, in my humble opinion. And the best thing about my newly purchased shirt - it is unblemished by a sponsor. A classic claret hoop on amber backdrop, as it should be. I think the question of a shirt sponsor is a bit of a head versus heart dilemma. On one hand you want a plain strip which isn’t spoilt by a gaudy corporate logo. On the other, the club makes considerable revenue from sponsorship, money which could strengthen the first team.
In my ideal world, Motherwell would run out every week wearing an amber shirt with claret (continuous) hoop, claret shorts and amber socks. We first played in claret and amber in 1913 and introduced the famous hoop in 1928. Perhaps a little biased, I think our traditional strip is one of the classiest in the country. It’s distinctive. Few clubs share either our colours or design. However, deviations from this template can end in disaster, with our mid-1990s “court jester” shirt a prime example.
A rush of pride flows over me (almost) every time I pull on a Motherwell top, whether going to a match or having a kickabout. Despite this, I’ve not bought every home shirt over the past few seasons. The prices of replica shirts are off putting. Another reason not to purchase every year is the sponsor. The 2004-2006 shirt was ruined by a garish blue and white Zoom logo. The past two seasons have left me wondering if I want to walk about with a betting company advertised across my chest.
A few months ago, when the club unveiled the new shirt online, my immediate thought was how this classic design was going to be wrecked by the ubiquitous shirt sponsor. How cruel, I thought, for the club to engage in such a look-at-what-you-could-have-won ploy. In the end, Dempster and co managed to walk the tightrope between two competing interests: securing financial sponsorship for the club while placating purists who could purchase the shirt sponsor-free.
Many will scoff at the naivety of wanting an unadorned strip. Football is awash with sponsorship and a substantial part of a club’s income comes from this financial support. But in future would supporters begrudge reimbursing the club for a sponsorless shirt? What is the monetary benefit for a company per supporter’s personal advertising space? I would be happy to pay a couple more pounds for an amber home shirt with a claret hoop, and nothing else.
Looking around the stands at our last home game I see plenty of new tops; some with sponsor but most without. Could the same arrangement be used every year? I’d like to think so.
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