The uniform for the 2014 season was announced a couple of months ago with a throw-back design to one of the earliest designs at the club, but has this week been finalised with Away shirts and full sponsors announced.
It throws up a couple of questions when you look at it and start to think about the season to come.
1)Shirt front sponsor.
Are we really going into the season again with no shirt front sponsor?!
The office staff at the club seemed to have a good start to the post-Otsuka regime by getting a lot of new smaller sponsors for the back and shorts, and moving Nishitetsu onto the training wear but what has gone wrong to not agree a figure with someone for the front of the shirts.
It isn’t quite as bad as when we started J1 with no sponsors at all (apart from Fukuya) but surely they can find a company to agree a deal of some sort, even if it isn’t the top money they might hope for.
There have been rumors of LINE who are coming to Fukuoka, or UNIQLO who originated in nearby Yamaguchi. We are right next to the airport so could make some mock-ups of the pitch and ANA, JAL Star-flyer planes flying in the background.
Even if it was a cheaper deal this year if you could do it on a short term basis which might attract a deal in the future or at least show the wider business community that we have a product which is worth chasing.
2) Stripes on the back.
Something which annoys me is shirts which have stripes, but the stripes stop on the back of the shirt.
Personally I get a number on shirts which I buy, but a lot of fans choose not to. By having this design it means that everyone buying a shirt now has to also buy a number for the shirt. If they don’t they leave a strange empty space on the front and back of their shirt.
Maybe this is good news for the shirt maker who can add the cost of numbers to every shirt they sell. Less good news for someone who just wanted a shirt with no name or numbers.
It looks like now anyone who deosn’t want numbers should probably get the away shirt.
3)The away shirt.
Did someone forget to tell the shirt designer what the point of an away shirt is?
We now have a white shirt with blue stripes for the home short and a white shirt with one stripe as the away shirt.
There are many clubs in England who will do this on purpose. Manchester United for example will have a red home shirt and a white away shirt. This means that when they play Sunderland or Southampton they need to have a 3rd kit because they can’t wear red or white. Are we going to see a 3rd Avispa shirt coming out soon? I doubt it, we probably don’t sell enough to make 2 shirts that worthwhile really.
What is going to happen next season when we go to play someone like Mito who have been wearing blue and white shirts? If you got a particularly fussy referee (and Japan has plenty) we will be wearing Mito’s away shirt when we play them.
4) A green goal-keepers shirt.
Very nice to see a traditional green goal-keepers shirt. I’d like to have seen it as the home shirt.