BBC Billy has me worried about the Adidas shirt

3 May

I hadn’t planned a Brentford column this morning (too excited about the game) until Billy Reeves sent me a link to a story about the alleged new West Bromwich Albion kit for next season. I say alleged – it hasn’t been officially released although a quick trawl of the interweb suggests this is all but certain.

However, I note this because Brentford, like West Bromwich Albion, share a technical sponsor in Adidas. Brentford, like West Bromwich Albion, have a traditional shirt design of alternating stripes (the removal of which from the reverse has caused some recent controversy).

And West Brom, like Southampton before them, seem set to ditch the thick stripes for a plain shirt, offset by there merest hint of pin stripe.


Are these West Brom’s shirts for next season?

Theoretically still stripes, but a marketing man’s wet dream as they now have a shirt ‘more likely to go with jeans and be worn causally‘ i.e. not just in the football ground. Instead, what you have is more urinating on club heritage and a team that, rather, could now look like a poor man’s Fulham.

And it has made me realise, again, that team kit is not just about the colours but also the principle design. Of course, there are going to be variants on the latter and even Brentford had two season’s of the thinner version – that made us look as though we played in pink from a distance of anything over five yard away. But, by and large, the shirt has been predominantly red and white striped.

Imagine Celtic playing in all green, Peru ditching their sash or the Loftus Road mob dropping the hoops (actually, that wouldn’t surprise me in the pursuit of boosting Harry’s transfer kitty but who cares)

We haven’t seen next season’s, Championship, design as yet. That is anticipated in June, according to a recent twitter post from Mark Devlin , but now I am desperately hoping that the Adidas marketing men haven’t tried to lead us down a plain-fronted rabbit hole.

I am confident we won’t be going that way. If nothing else, the 125th anniversary of the club will, more likely, see something über-traditional whilst teabag-gate has, surely, made the Griffin Park top brass aware of fan feeling. However, until I see it I can’t be sure.

Whatever we’ve picked though, it’s too late. I’m nervous but excited about the big reveal and, perhaps, hoping West Brom have a third kit.

With the Baggies only four points above the relegation trapdoor, if their home shirt is all white and away shirt all red, what are they going to wear at Griffin Park next season?


The Bees have had thin stripes, teabags and old favourites – but what for 2014?



11 Responses to “BBC Billy has me worried about the Adidas shirt”

  1. Ian James. May 3, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    If West Brom fans should have to visit Griffin Park, I’d say wearing a new, bizarrely designed club shirts would be less than a problem than rubbing shoulders with a sneering twerp with his own blog. I know we’ve had the threat of going back where we came from hanging over our heads, and that Premier League status would always be temporary than permanent, but don’t make going back to the Championship a second-class experience through crap blogging.

    • nickbruzon May 3, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Cheers – thanks for the insightful comments.

  2. Dan Samuels (@DanSamuels1) May 3, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Glad to see you were promoted, but please don’t wish relegation on WBAFC.
    “Only four points”….. that is a chasm in the Greed League.

    • nickbruzon May 3, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      I wouldn’t wish relegation on anyone – just making a statistical fact. Nobody is safe until they are safe

  3. Bernard Quackenbush May 3, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Not sure what has got Ian James’ goat. I dont detect any sneering at WBA in this piece, if anything Nick is championing WBA’s heritage and tradition. Besides we are more that happy for WBA stay in the Premier League as long as they make sure they stay above Fulham.

    As for our new kit, I would have thought lessons would have been learnt after the 2012-13 kit

  4. Dan Samuels (@DanSamuels1) May 3, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Hoping we have a third strip, seems to indicate that you anticipate seeing WBAFC visiting you. Just make sure you finish above the Dogheads from up the A41.

  5. Rustymini May 3, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    As a Wolves fan I should find it funny that most of the Baggies fans I’ve spoke to at work absolutely hate the new shirt. However I don’t. Yet another example (Cardiff being another one) of either marketing, or even just the whim of the owner, trampling over years of tradition. I don’t think Albion will be relegated (Villa on the other hand….). I look forward to our local derby but I’d rather wait another year and have it in the Premiership.
    At the moment I’m looking forward to the new fixtures list to find out when we’ll be visiting Griffin Park (any chance you could send us more tickets next time?)

  6. BerksBaggie May 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Many Albion fans are threatening a boycott if we move to barely visible pinstripes after 130 plus years of stripes.
    Good luck to Brentford in the Championship. Thankfully we won’t be slipping to that level.
    And to the Wolves fan. Albion will have our REAL derby next season – against Villa.

  7. Ian James. May 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Sorry, Mr. Bruzon, no personal sniping in mind or anything, it’s just that I’d got a little miffed with the dreadful season we’ve had – even if we have survived – and that a seemingly critical article on kit design was just what I needed to get me into curmudgeon mode. I’ll probably be heretical here, but I couldn’t give a reeking, nuclear-powered stuff about the shirt design simply because what bugs me is achievement on the pitch and off it rather than what thickness of lines are on a shirt and whether it’s the right colour and blah-de-blah-de-blah. It’s seems a minor subject to be going on about in a season which has seen bloody dreadful thinking and equally bad decisions dictate the tone and flavour of West Brom’s campaign – that’s the drawback in being in the top flight, when things are going okay then all is right with the world. When some backward f*ckwit makes a quenelle gesture, then the incident is magnified (rightly in this case) and the world’s eyes look disapprovingly at your club. So the kit design means bugger all to me. The historical and traditional worth is worth discussing, I suppose, but to me the achievement of a club overall is worth remembering rather than what thickness the lines are on a football shirt. And that West Brom’s season has been memorable for all the wrong reasons and may have the potential to do so again if the hapless bastards who presided over it are in control next time, are of far more concern to me than sporting couture.

    My apologies for having a strop. Keep up the good work and all the best to your good self and Brentford FC.

    • nickbruzon May 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

      Hi Ian.

      Many thanks indeed for your update. And please, I take no offence. Football is an emotive game (just one of the many reasons I love it).

      What is a big deal for me is, of course, small fry in the wider world. In a way we are lucky at Brentford that such issues as you describe (some nice problems, others less so) are yet to touch us.

      One of the reasons I enjoy Griffin Park so much is the unique ‘social vibe’ we have. Fingers crossed that will be maintained next season, whoever we play.

      I wouldn’t wish relegation on anybody (been there far too often) so please don’t take my comments as anything more than observation of a statistical possibility.

      Cheers – and good luck

  8. Ian James. May 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Thanks again, Nick, all the best and keep the vibe going.

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