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When is a replica kit not a replica kit?

 

Football News 24/7
There have been some kit disasters in football - Manchester United famously ditched the 'grey kit' after losing at Southampton many moons ago, then there was the infamous Coventry 'Chocolate' away kit that went down like the proverbial lead baloon.

But when Birmingham City's new £40 away top was launched last summer there was no hint that the fans disliked the colour or design. It was used pre-season and everything seemed fine.

But when push came to shove, boss Chris Hughton prefers the yellow 'European' kit if colours clash with the opposition and the cobalt blue and black official away strip is now available at discounted prices in teh club shop.

By definition though, teamwear is either a replica kit or it isn't. If it is simply a design that isn't played in it is no longer a replica kit and Hughton's decision can't have helped his Retail Manager one iota.

According to local paper the  Birmingham Mail a club insider said: 'Some managers like certain kits for all sorts of reasons and the yellow shirts were the design that the manager wanted to use.

'The yellow kit went down a storm in the Europa League, so the team persisted with it. 'These shirts were not manufactured on the same scale as the official home and away kits, so not so many have been available to purchase.

The dilemma for clubs in choosing an alternative strip is trying to match fashion and saleability with playing requirements. Teams have to register three official strips each season, but when the third kit becomes more popular than the second that suggests somehwere along the line the wrong choice was made.

Visually the shirt looks fine to us, but for a side that play in blue by choice having large amounts of blue in the second kit was always with hindsight likely to lead to clashes and Hughton's stance is no big surprise.

LG

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