After a delay of nearly two hours from the original unveiling time, the Cardiff City website coughed and spluttered back to life, bringing with it the full horror of the Bluebirds 2013/14 home kit.
It was immediately met with cries of derision by Bluebird fans from all sides of the rebranding – The KKB (Keep Kardiff Blue), The Reluctant Reds, The Cardiff City Traditionalists, The I couldn’t give a frig’s, Bluebirds Unite (who are newly formed and rapidly gaining followers) and The so called majority – The we’d rather be blue of course we would, but we have no say in it! Brigades and with good reason too!
The all red kit which was unveiled managed the truly awesome feat of clashing with itself. The shirt and shorts were two vastly different shades of red. The top, Liverpool red while the shorts are the shade of red of last seasons controversial and much derided home strip – it screamed one thing – it was designed by someone who is colourblind.
I suspect it was supposed to represent the fusion of the rebrand – The Welsh red and the Chinese red. However, like the reviled badge that remains from last season – which is also purported to represent the fusion of the two cultures; the kit just didn’t work, it clashed violently and jarred on the senses and the eyes.
Across the Social media platforms there was an explosion of disgust and anger, 99% of supporters concurring they hated the two tone red shirt and shorts, but a closer inspection revelled the kit was made up of at least five shades of red and the design is clumsy and ugly!
Baggy three-quarter length sleeves, and a faux v-neck that harks back to the hay day of Frank Butcher in Eastenders, while the Cardiff City logo and that of kit designers Puma both sat very high on the shoulders of the shirt rather than on the chest area as is traditional, close to the heart where they have always sat to symbolise that the players and supporters who wear the shirt, carry the badge (which is the physical symbol of the club and so the team itself) in their hearts.
The shirt also has two stripes which to quote the club are symbolic “The two Puma King stripes are a reflection of fans’ loyalty to the club!” Many quickly and pithily replied, it was a pity the club showed no loyalty to its history!
Then there are the shorts once you get past the dirty red colour which takes some doing when they are paired with a brighter almost wash faded red of the shirt and socks.
The shorts are cut oddly, old fashioned, over long and shapeless they have a thick and ugly elasticated waistband of the type usually seen on the trousers of old men of a certain girth
They also have the look of cropped jogging bottoms, the kind of shorts that someone’s mum had made and donated to the school, for the dreaded spare kit box, the very pair that lurked at the bottom greeting you if you forgot you sports kit, with their polyester shine, before inducing fits of giggles as you took to the field of play wearing them within sight of everyone else!
The kit taken as a whole looked like it belonged to a pub side clobbered together with the only bargain basement market stall rip-off parts there was enough of for the whole team , certainly not befitting of a side making their return to the top flight of English football for the first time in 51 years.
It’s a bizarre thought that anyone at any point looked at the clashing Cardiff City two toned red home kit in a typically poor design by Puma and thought they likes it, much less that it was perfect for The Blues to run out in, in their first home game – That it was fit to mark The Bluebirds re-entrance into the most successful league in the world after an absence of fifty odd years, in the knowledge that the world will be watching, with a smirk on its its face after the embarrassment of the rebranding which was universally criticised by everyone within the sport of football and beyond.
It is Incomprehensible that someone at a very early stage of the design’s life didn’t say “You’re not serious? That is hideous!” But it would seem if someone did (which is likely) they were shouted down and ignored.
The long suffering wife of One lifelong Bluebird supporter (who has bought every replica Cardiff City shirt for the last 25 years apart from last season’s red and the 2011/12 ‘Swansea home kit’ style away strip) was aghast when she logged into the City shop to view the kit saying – “At least last years shirt even although it was bloody red, it was stylish …. this one looks like it was made in a cheap sweatshop …”
Another fan emotionally said: “I struggled to come to terms with one shade of red, but two clashing shades of red is killing me.”
Supporters of other clubs quickly started to add their opinion into the mix a West Ham fan commented that he was unsure if it was possible to get any more different shades of red In the same kit.
A Newcastle united supporter said “I wouldn’t even wish that on Sunderland!”
Even Cardiff City’s players waded in; defender Andrew Taylor tweeted to one of Cardiff City FC’s media men to ask ” why are the shorts a weird colour??!! Has (the City kit man) designed this strip??
Supporters outraged by Cardiff City’s attempts to red-dyed themselves for the Premier League started an online petition in the hope of bringing about a complete reversal of the rebrand. Several hours passed before anyone from Cardiff made any comment. Then it was an official, unofficial promise to look into things.
That evening Cardiff city club issued an apology
‘Cardiff City Football Club on Wednesday May 29th launched the first images of the 2013/14 home kit, which featured two shades of red, the darker of which was carried in the shorts. The decision had been made as a means to help visually distinguish the club in the Premier League, while continuing the theme of our successful 2012/13 Championship winning season.’
The resulting response carried across social media quickly indicated that a large number of supporters were unhappy with the choice of colour concerning the shorts. For that we apologise.
Along with the apology came the news that via email season ticket holders were to be balloted on a choice of replacement shorts.