New kits confirmed!

The club this afternoon confirmed it's partnership with Umbro, as had been expected for some time. After several false versions of shirts appeared online in recent months it appears the last batch of designs were quite close to what we'll be seeing. The ten-year deal sees the club not only revert to a more retro style but also link up a local manufacturer. Of course, there will still be huge amounts of money changing hands, but i'm glad that the club again appear to be keen on both listening to us fans, and maintaining the club's identity.

The home shirt (as seen above, though only a computer-generated mock-up) is an obvious nod to the kits of old; a round neck, tailored badge, minimalist look, it's a real improvement. The romantic in me, as i've heard lots of other Blues say, would've loved for us to go even further, reverting back to the old badge and doing away with a sponsor altogether. Sadly, both of these ideas are quite impossible, due to copyright issues and a shirt sponsor being so financially-valuable to the club, respectively. Burgundy sock turn-ups would be nice, mind!

The away offering, a more modern style, black with gold trim, quite nice but doesn't get the juices flowing in the same way. The third, though, is fantastic, a real nod to the late-70's kit that was briefly wheeled back out for 02/03. This time, however, the 'sash' is reversed and the sponsor's name moved underneath the badge, a nice touch. Again, nice to see the decision-makers giving nods to the club's past. One of the most noticeable improvements at the club since the takeover, for my money at least, is that the club are clearly putting more effort and man-hours into improving relations with the supporters. They weren't necessarily bad beforehand, but Cook and his team appear to appreciate our role in the future of the club, when under different regimes it's sometimes felt like our voices haven't been so heard. It's great that they're encouraging our input on a variety of issues such as this.

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