Last night, we all had a good laugh over the latest shambles at Ibrox, as their partnership with Castore runs into some major – but predictable – difficulties.
Well, that situation has taken a bizarre and brilliant turn today, and let me tell you, you are going to find this a wee bit confusing. Which I am almost certain is the intention. Because Castore’s explanation for the state of their merchandising is mindboggling.
I’m going to try and lay this out in the best way I can, to avoid confusion as much as possible.
But confusion reigns nonetheless. This is what they are telling fans.
The Chinese shirts, which are the better quality ones, are “pro-shirts” which have been released too early and sent out erroneously.
The Turkish knock-offs are the actual real, regular, Sevco tops which are intended for general sale.
So, the cheap crap which everyone is moaning about is, indeed, the replica product … costing £60 a pop.
But if you’re willing to spend an extra sum, probably quite a big one, you’ll get the “premier” product, which is the pro-shirt, which more resembles the one the team wears.
More resembles. Note that, because there’s some doubt over Castore’s story as there are now no fewer than three different versions of the Sevco home top doing the rounds, all with different labels, with two made in China and one made in Turkey.
Because even as they scrambled to claim that the Chinese kits are the “pro-version”, a third version – with a black Castore badge on it and which looks superior in quality to both the Chinese and Turkish versions – has appeared … and it’s the one they’ll be selling from Monday marketed as the “pro” top.
If you’re not yet confused, you will be.
Away kits and third kids will only be available with the Turkish labels … except that pro-versions, with the Chinese labels, will be on sale from Monday when the Chinese labelled home pro-kit goes on general sale.
Are you following this okay so far?
Now, I don’t know if Celtic has ever had two versions of a home kit before, far less three, with one aimed at the “high end” of the market – i.e. daft people who will pay £100 for a football top – or whether this innovation is all Sevco’s own, but what appears absolutely certain is that when they advertised all this they didn’t tell fans there would be different shirts of vastly different quality out there. They didn’t tell their supporters that they were going to divide the fan-base into the “have from China” and the “have from Turkey”, not that it matters as many people who couldn’t have afforded a “premium” top have them anyway now …
Except, none of the ones out there so far will actually have the black Castore badge on them, so they aren’t really the premium kits at all …..
Oh it’s enough to make your head sore, and this, of course, was either the intention from the start or is the world’s worst cobbled together cover-story.
The company has also apologised for the “mishap” of buying generic third rate tops in bulk, sewing their own logo onto them and then trying to pass them off as their own gear. Which isn’t a “mishap” as much as a con-job, but the media isn’t going to call it that of course.
An even more brilliant story has emerged too, about how Castore is trying to dump its own generic, but high quality, products from days gone by and which they haven’t been able to sell; they are slapping a Sevco badge on them and marketing them alongside the knock-off stuff they bought from somewhere else, which leaves fans no real way to know which is which.
Honestly, this has gone from fiasco to fiasco … and Sevco fans have been bled almost white over the course of this summer between high season ticket prices, the MyGers scam (which 20,000 of them have joined and are now trapped in because to quit, of course, loses you all your points and puts you back on zero when it comes to away tickets and perks) and the merchandising rip-off which is even now rolling over them like a freight train.
I am going to keep on following this story, and so are the other bloggers, and in particular because the media continues to do a lamentable job in reporting it when they bother to at all. Sevco’s off-field problems were hailed as being fixed … this is a club that has lied to its own fans at every stage and every fork in the road. They continue to.
And this is the result of that … comedy gold for everyone on our side of the lines.
Jelly and ice cream anybody?
Jesus, Haagen-Dazs must love this lot.
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