When Sevco’s board of directors was congratulating itself on securing a “favourable” deal from Mike Ashley and Sports Direct – the devil being well and truly in the details – there was some speculation as to whether or not there would be a kit launch.
King said that he and his backroom team were working with Puma to make sure there would be.
But as this blog and others have pointed out, time and again, the relationship between the manufacturers and the club is an all-time low. Sevco could want all they liked, but Puma were certainly not going to be easy to deal with.
King’s belief that a new strip would be readied looks set to be confirmed, and with it Puma will have their revenge.
The club was obliged to file the paperwork with the SFA and the SPFL weeks ago over what the design of the new shirts would be, and so they clearly did file something … now we know why they haven’t been rolling out the marketing campaign.
Because Puma has delivered. And what have they delivered? If the pictures published online today are anything to go by, it’s nothing but a plain red training top with a slighter darker top bit, some badges and a sponsors name on it.
To say there’s nothing fancy about it is an understatement; there’s that one odd colour variation and that’s the lot. No pattern, no fancy trim … this thing is the sort that an amateur graphic designer would have knocked out in under a minute on Photoshop.
Are the club really going to put this on sale, and ask for £40 a time? Who in their right mind would look at something that resembles an old Aberdeen top in the years before these things were made by professionals, and pay good money for it?
This is what happens when your operation is so lax, so appalling, so completely useless and unable to get even the simple things right. King and his board were so determined to secure “a win” over Ashley, or at least something to give their fans that had the appearance of a win, that they basically screwed over Puma by refusing to have a strip launch.
No strip launch, no new shirt design. That was the message Puma gave to them. And the home strip is the proof of it. Last season’s top, anybody? Dear oh dear, what a mess. And now that the club has asked for an away strip they’ve been sent this.
Sevco fans are raging tonight, at Puma mostly.
They’ve sussed that this is little more than a generic shirt which Puma already sells …
They are shooting at the wrong target, as per usual. They are lucky the kit manufacturer could be bothered putting out anything at all; the state of the relationship between the two parties means the contract is as good as in the bin and that didn’t oblige the company to give them anything.
There’s a story about the founding of Virgin that I’ve always enjoyed; way back at the start, Virgin was a magazine named Student, which Branson used to sell second hand records.
Even then he was phenomenal at PR and he somehow managed to secure a guarantee that John Lennon would provide him with an original recording, as a freebie for one of the issues. When he failed to get it he threatened to sue. Lennon countered by sending him a plastic record with the sound of his baby’s heartbeat on it.
That’s what Puma just did here, and no-one can complain.
That they did anything at all is a minor miracle. But nobody broke their back on this. Nobody worked terribly hard to get it finished, and Sports Direct will not enjoy giving over warehouse space for this curiosity of a shirt that not one fan seems overly enthused to buy.