Wilson’s Wisdom: Pompey can lead the way with new shirts

Teddy Sheringham sporting the Ty kit in the 2003-04 season
Teddy Sheringham sporting the Ty kit in the 2003-04 season

Pompey boss praise for riding out defensive storm

13
Have your say

Remember when Pompey kits used to last longer than one season?

It seems so long ago now.

The latest Sondico design was made public this week.

It looks nice enough but it left me thinking about days gone by.

The last time Pompey played in the same strip for two seasons running was back in 2003-04 and 2004-05 – their first seasons in the Premier League when Teddy Sheringham strutted his stuff at Fratton Park for one season.

Since then we’ve had a different version every single season – that is 11 consecutive years.

Perhaps it’s a sign of my advancing years that it just seems too many – and my son is not even old enough to start whining about wanting the new shirt every season just yet.

We’ve had three new strips every season for three years now.

There have been three versions of the traditional home colours, three different white away shirts – which rarely seem to get a first-team outing – and the maroon/pink number, the all yellow one from last season and a new black third strip, to be unveiled in July.

I understand clubs and kit manufacturers need to maximise their revenue streams with a different collar or a few bits of trim from time to time.

I’m not a marketing specialist or a retail analyst but I’d be interested to see if there was a huge impact on the club’s income with a slightly different approach that didn’t seem quite so cynical.

Instead of changing all the kits every season, why not change the home strip one season and the away strips in alternate years? Less is more and all that. Two whole seasons of a Pompey team playing in the same strip might actually sell a few more replica shirts simply because those who buy it (or bought it as a gift for friends and family) would know it wouldn’t be out of date within a matter of months.

Frankly, it’s unlikely to happen and I’m sure the answer would probably be along the lines that other clubs do not do that, so why should Pompey?

The modern world of football dictates that things are done in a certain way. But that doesn’t mean it is always the right way.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and the Premier League big guns all seem to change their strip every season now.

Perhaps it’s just a fact of life and Pompey are following suit.

But I think there is scope for Pompey to lead the way and set their own standards.

They could take the moral high ground in their guise as a community-owned club and make a stand in tandem with a respected kit supplier with the same ethos.

For example, take last season’s home shirt – with the names of the fallen Pompey Pals from the First World War woven into the fabric.

It was a great idea from Bob Beech in conjunction with the club to honour the heroes of 14th and 15th battalions of the Hampshire Regiment, recruited heavily at Fratton Park.

But it is gone way too soon.

Of course, it is not compulsory to buy the new shirt every season and I’m sure some will tell me there are more important things to worry about.

But maybe it’s worth a thought?