The Ibrox “Strip Leak” Is Hilarious. Celtic Has Such An Advantage In The Shirt Wars.

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I saw, with some amusement, this morning, reports about Ibrox’s latest Castore strip leak. If there’s a real difference between their prospective shirt and the one they are wearing right now I really don’t know what it is. Some trim has been recoloured. Wow. What an incentive to go out and buy it, right? But of course, tens of thousands of them will.

There is a wider issue here, of course, and let’s get it out of the way; this is a joke, no matter which club you support. Not just a strip every season, which is now standard practice, but two away tops, fourth strips and more “training gear” than you can shake a stick at.

I know that nobody is forced to buy this stuff, and that people have the choice to say no, but we know that’s not how it works.

Remember what I said about the tribe recently? Well, the tribe has a uniform, and a lot of people just don’t feel like their commitment to the tribe is complete without buying it year on year. Then there are the kids pressuring their parents … I could go on.

These companies rip fans off. They leech money from ordinary supporters. The club gets a chunk of the cash, yes, but the lions share goes to massive corporations and their shareholders, and that football was once a working-class sport, and that the working class in this country are hurting more than ever, doesn’t bother them one little bit.

Our own club got a storm of protest and anger directed at it earlier in the season after we’d released a fourth strip. The club deserved every bit of it, as the February transfer window hadn’t long closed and the club had scandalously let the manager down.

Still, we have a world class company making our kit, and even if some of the design choices are less than overwhelming, we have something the experts can work with. What are you supposed to do with a blue shirt? How do you pretty that up? How do you differentiate that from all the other run of the mill blue jerseys out there?

It’s highly amusing to me that their forums are all “ooh” and “aah” over such a mundane thing. Castore is not world class at design. That was not their forte.

Their forte was that they made elegant, bespoke sportswear, something that went out the window when they became just another company selling a mass-market product.

But they never had the decades of experience in this that comes from a top-class outfit.

Which is why, when I looked at the design Peepul across town seem excited about it I just didn’t get it at all.

Our top-class kit maker has not covered itself in glory in some of their own designs. They do, however, have something iconic to work with, which is why when they do get it wrong so many of our fans are genuinely pissed off by it.

The Hoops stand out though, and it doesn’t matter how many are on their shirt, whether they are broken or not, whether there is a trim around them, whether there is a nice but indistinct background image or whatever it is that the designers come up with … the strip itself is not run-of-the-mill. It is not Just Another Football Top.

It’s why you can see them at every major sporting event. I’m not saying there aren’t Manchester Utd tops or even the odd Ibrox team jersey in the crowd somewhere, but who notices them? They don’t stand out, your eyes aren’t drawn to them the way they are to that distinctive green and white flash of colour which is identifiable everywhere. And you can tell whether you are looking at a Sporting Lisbon top or a Celtic shirt … no-one ever makes that mistake.

And let’s be honest; how many times have you spotted Hoops in a crowd and thought it was a Celtic top only to find out it, on a close up, that it was something else? It never happens, does it? Because the Celtic brand is a global brand as well and not just a West of Scotland provincial one.

All this is to say that I find their excitement somewhat amusing. It’s a lot of hype over one minor design change, but that’s just it isn’t it?

You can’t go psychedelic, you can’t add features, you can’t mess too much with the colour … it’s what it is, a plain blue top, and no matter how many ads they put on it, it won’t feature on the telly much outside of East Belfast protests and the odd riot.

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  • Bunter says:

    The only ‘near’ jersey is the Shamrock Rovers top. Pretty indistinguishable from ours at a distance, especially to a neutral. Staying in Dublin, the new Bohemians Palestine top is special. But on buying tops – I’ve been trying to buy the new Irish heritage top in size large or medium at a push. Sold out everywhere. Tried online, in the Celtic shop, JD sports – nada. Time to produce some more Celtic.

  • Tony B says:

    Washed out blue nondescript pish – same as their new klub.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    A lucrative racket and nothin more. 3 at a push, anythin else is just ridiculous. Blue tops are 10 a penny in uk club football, whereas our strips almost instantly recognised, as belongin tae one particular club. Ah don’t care whit Celtic strip we win in, tho ah personally have a big dislike of our hoops bein messed with, or ‘prettyin’ it up. Imo, the kit should resemble the 67′ style as much as possible. The best one, again imo, we’ve had in a long time, was the 2017-19 kit based on the 67′ season. We’ve had some that have come close, although some right horrors the odd time and that weird sort of ‘snakeskin’ ‘ job on our present one just isnae right either. 5 or 6 emerald green hoops, white shorts, socks. Plain, simple, unique HH.

  • Michael Collins says:

    I have lived in Thailand for the last 18 years and just saw for the first time an Ibrox top for sale in a store in Pattaya. Celtic tops along with the other tops of top European clubs are there all the time.

  • Michael Clark says:

    At this point of the season I would take Celtic playing in purple as long as we win the league!?!? Let’s get serious mate, there’s bigger fish than football jersey’s

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