Asda unveils Pompey-Saints Santa suit

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Well, it is the season of goodwill - even, perhaps, between Pompey and Saints fans!

That’s the hope of Asda bosses, who have launched a half-and-half Santa suit in the colours of both rival teams.

On one side is the traditional Father Christmas red - Southampton colours of course - and on the other the famous Pompey blue.

Asda says that in response to customer feedback, particularly from supporters of football teams who play in blue, but have a rival which plays in red, it has introduced the unique ‘half-and-half’ Santa Suits for their in-store Father Christmases to wear.

The company has already introduced the half-blue and half-red Santa suits in Liverpool and Manchester, where Liverpool and Manchester United play in red, whilst rivals Everton and Manchester City play in blue.

Now it will roll-out the suits to Hampshire for the Pompey-Saints rivalry as well as to Bristol (Bristol Rovers and Bristol City), Sheffield (Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday) and Cardiff – where Cardiff City for a while controversially changed the club colours from blue to red.

It’s a bold move given research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Asda which found that 29 per cent of Brits say they would never wear the colour of a rival football team at any given time – with a further 17 per cent saying they would never wear the colour of a rival team on a match day.

Asda’s Santa Supervisor, Dan “North” Pole, said: ‘Half-and-half scarves are the talk of football and although some people dislike them, many others see them as tokens of friendship.

‘As a bit of banter for Santa we’ve introduced these unique half-and-half suits that Father Christmas will wear in stores and the aim is to keep everyone happy, regardless of their preferred colour or sporting allegiances.’

Asda says its US parent company Walmart is also monitoring the trial and may consider implementing similar half-and-half Santa suits at its stores in the New York and New Jersey areas, where fans of soccer teams New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls - who play in sky blue and red, respectively - share a similar rivalry.

There’s bad news though for those few fans who support both rivals - Asda is not selling the suits, only dressing its own Santas in them.