Earlier this year, I wrote an article in the Mag (the 3 dimensional toilet-friendly version, as opposed to this slick new electric version what fits inside one’s telephone) regarding the controversial renaming of St James’ Park, and subsequent debate.
I think that the recent good business and excellent performance all round would have seen Mike Ashley almost completely absolved in the eyes of many fans had it not been for this hideous PR cock-up leaving one last cloud lingering over the owner’s name.
Anyway, for internet-only readers yet to commit to purchase of a magazine (check outside, I think that tea bag you hung on the washing line’s nearly dry) the gist of that article was to query whether it would be worth the ignominy of a sponsor’s name if it put another Cisse on the pitch every year?
Furthermore, exactly how far would we be willing to go in selling the family silver in the name of success? The plethora of multi-coloured kits we change into on a constant, unnecessary basis for away matches suggested to me that a time would come when all away games were played out in a second/third kit while the famous black and white was marginalised and used only for appearances at SJP. This would follow on from a rule used in some American sports where the home team always wears white, meaning that a viewer happening across the game on TV will instantly know where it is being played. And as we all know, TV is very, very important.
I still maintain this away kit foolishness is fast approaching, but I wasn’t prepared for today’s news that one club has already gone a massive step further. Cardiff City today announced that they are abandoning their traditional blue kit and changing their home colours to red, after 100 years and despite a nickname of the Bluebirds. This soul selling is, of course, at the behest of an investment company looking who are set to plough a good £70 million into the club, but on condition of their adopting a shade that will ‘expand the club’s appeal in international markets’.
It is truly sad beyond words that the traditions and history of a club can be so grossly violated at the behest of some little shit of a marketing ‘expert’ working for some power-hungry carpet baggers exploiting the club on the promise of the almighty dollar. The fact that the legions of loyal, local Cardiff fans are enraged by this is irrelevant of course, as they are nonentities compared to feckless pricks in wherever buying a random shirt they have no emotional or consistent attachment to. The whole process stinks and I sincerely hope and genuinely believe that Cardiff will immediately revert to their traditional blue once this shower of fly-by-nights are gone.
It is vital in these consumer-driven, materialistic times that we hang on to the core of what is important and defines a club as the entity it is. Looking at what has happened here, I am certain now that I don’t want any £10 million player that badly.