Feeling the blues

2 06 2010

In the area of contemporary kit design anything goes; checks, stripes, hoops, polka dots, tartan, hieroglyphics, they may even appear at the same time. Thanks to modern manufacturing methods any colour can be used as well; pink, purple, flourescent orange, urinary-tract infection green. You may even find the names of fans within the fabric of shirts.

Mind you it’s not all techicolour splashes and vomit stains some things can remain “normal”. For example when a club tries to ditch their “traditional” colours their fans may protest quite vigorously, even when the “traditional” kit was first worn 80 years after the club’s foundation. Modern kits can be stylish too. Take a look at the ensemble worn by the Italian amateur side F.C. Fossombrone;

The problems tend to crop up with away kits. Anything does go when it comes to change strips. We’ve seen Liverpool in ecru, Man United in grey, Arsenal in white, Coventry in Brown, Newcastle in Two-tone Yellow and Atletico Madrid as spidermen. In terms of this a club choosing to have an orange away kit shouldn’t be red-hot news, it’s now just normal;

The problems begin to occur when certain clubs choose orange. The club that’s going to wear the above kit is Linfield and Linfield come from a certain point of view, as the badge says;

As you will already know, orange is a colour strongly associated with Loyalism.  When Linfield claim they don’t like the shadow of Loyalism darkening their matches, orange becomes a puzzling choice for a kit colour.  Why would a club that’s strongly associated with Loyalism choose an orange kit when they are trying to distance themselves from that political ideology?

Linfield are not the first of the blues brothers to have an orange kit, Rangers have worn one. That particular kit was so popular it became Rangers’ best-ever unit-shifter (some people even want Rangers to wear orange again.). In the end the choice is not a surprise, commerce has triumphed over principle yet again.

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