To hoop or not to hoop?

Photo 1

By Mahesh Johal

As I left Villa Park last Tuesday I was amazed to see several vendors selling ‘Bradford City – Wembley 2013’ tee shirts and scarfs. Twenty minutes had passed since beating Aston Villa, and already these men were selling merchandise. In the hysteria of reaching our first League Cup Final, many fans were happy to start buying their Wembley stash.

The financial gains from this cup run have been well documented. It is important that the club maximise every avenue, including merchandising opportunities. Like Geoffrey Richmond in 1996, the current board have the chance to wash Wembley Stadium in claret and amber.

On Saturday, the club announced the idea of a commemorative shirt. The club proposed wearing a plain claret number (similar to the Surridge shirt worn in 2009/10) especially for the Final. In a poll, 67% were against the club introducing the shirt at Wembley. Comments on Facebook and Twitter suggest the lack of both claret and amber, in a stripe or hoop form, as the main reason for discontent. The club said that the hooped shirt is a bespoke design and no more replicas could be made in time for the final.

Like the majority, I am against the commemorative shirt. I like the concept and the design, however it is important that City grace the Wembley turf in our claret and amber strip. Our colours symbolise our club. Also our hoops are not just the symbol of Bradford City anymore. This season claret and amber has been the symbol of inspiration and ‘daring to believe’.

The club deserves credit for giving fans the deciding vote on whether the shirt should be produced. However, one Tweeter criticised management for changing ‘for the sake of selling shirts’.  I appreciate his point, but the club should not be condemned for looking to maximise income. As mentioned before, this cup run has the potential to solidify the club’s long term future. From the feedback I saw, fans appear to want Wembley specific merchandise. However, the design element has been disappointing.

The club have released a variety of casual and leisure wear for the Final. I am personally not a fan of the products. Some of our training tops look dated, whilst one looks suspiciously similar to the black and grey tracksuit warn at Wolves in 1999. The Wembley graphic tee shirts aren’t that nice either. I was hoping for something classier, a similar design to the ‘Remember-25 year anniversary’ tee shirt.

tracksuit r25

I go back to the street vendors and the items they sell. Scarves and flags will be the favourite for fans. I lost count of the number of fans wearing half and half or long claret and amber scarves during this cup run. A Manchester Bantam, I don’t get much chance to watch Yorkshire regional news. Fortunately my father recorded the live edition of Look North. The one resonating theme that came out of the show was peoples’ pride for Bradford City. Our club colours are a symbol of this pride!

I will go to Wembley this year wearing the Beaver/Diamond Seal combination that was sported when we last played at the stadium. That day, the team wearing claret and amber were victorious. 17 years on, who dares to dream with me that we can do it again?

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Categories: Opinion

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12 replies

  1. Agree, looking at the 50 50 scarf and jacket designs hasn’t got me reaching for my wallet, was planning on going to get a home shirt with Wembley 13 on the back after the villa game but thanks to Nike my plan is ruined, want to buy something but nothing appeals to me at the minute, see what street sellers have.

  2. Thoroughly angry about this.

    Background. I work in London. My cockney mates get me a ticket to Chelsea when I am in town on a CL night. I go to the pubs, indulge in banter and they love to talk BCFC. In fact they all love BCFC now. Also if I don’t go I sit in a hotel alone. Oh, and I’ve seen Barca etc in the flesh! When we go I wander, as a footy fan does, into the shop, no superstore, no MEGA store. The store makes me jealous. They sell everything, and it’s trendy, brilliant and quality. Want a duvet (standard), you’ve got it, knickers- g string or full, yep. Toaster that puts the crest on a piece of toast yes!

    Now look, I’m not tacky. Some of its great. Some of it laughable. But, half of it I want. But in a BCAFC mould.

    I want most of it for my kids. I want some of it as I’m late 30’s and can’t be arsed with designer gear anymore. And it’s damned good.

    City’s stuff has been historically shit. Then we got Nike. And I thought it would change. Then we got to a cup final and I thought here we go. Something for me to buy my ten year old lad for him to show his ten year old lad, when I’m his Grandad.


    A massive fail for Nike and the shop it runs. They can’t even supply more replicas. Let alone replicas with proud embroidered cup final badges. Like every club in the history of the cup finals beforehas done.

    Then they try to dump some shit on us. We are claret and amber. Proud, unique and historical colours.

    For counter balance, I know that not everyone can afford a commemorative shirt. Nor 2 or 3 for their kids. So, produce a home kit with special embroidery for those that can, and those that can’t don’t feel left out. They wear the same shirt as the team on the pitch.

    Shoddy work from Nike.

    Pleas don’t blame the club though. The club shop is franchised through necessity. Past financial necessity.

    Personally, I will we the street vendors who will no doubt have captured the occasion, and my wallet, far better.

    And how sads that?

  3. Regarding the hooped retro shirt…for me quite simply it’s the best Bradford City shirt design ever. I feel really comfortable wearing it…My wife and i went to the Media Museum in Bradford just before the present season started to watch the film ‘Prometheus’…i decided to wear the hooped shirt in public for the first time, usually i feel a little uncomfortable wearing football shirts to something other than a football match but not on this occasion…it simply feels right.. I’d like to see the club keep Claret and Amber hoops permanently. Regarding the problems with a shirt for Wembley…personally i’d be mortified if BCFC didn’t play at Wembley in the hooped Claret and Amber kit…the Roma kit is for Roma not Bradford City Football Club.

  4. Might get the Capital one jacket in the picture, look alright

  5. Frankly, they can play in their pyjamas for all it matters.
    Nike are a commercial organisation who exist to make profit.They do this by making items that they judge will be bought by fans in huge quantities.Now, on this occasion, I think they have got it badly wrong and like many “commercial organisations” close to football clubs, don’t really read the real fans correctly. So, they will miss out on making more profit (note, they will not lose money as enough people will buy the stuff they are selling, to cover the costs of the remaining items that won’t sell).

    But please ,don’t blame the club.If this Cup run has taught me anything , it is that some of this club’s supporters need to snap out of the constant moaning about everything;I even noticed people on sites criticising Hanson after the Villa game! Were any of these people at Aldershot last season?..or Bristol Rovers? I was , and it was dire. This has been the best season at BCFC, whatever happens.The money we have made secures our future for a while yet.
    Can we not just rejoice in a unique achievement, congratulate the club,the palyers, the supportes and the sponsors, enjoy ourselves and forget this nonsense about which colours we play in/can buy/make sense?
    I will be going to Wembley with my old City scarf, old Park Avenue scarf, Gnome in City vertical colours and great memories of watching the club in a wide variety of colours over the years.We once played in all white!…Imagine !
    It really doesn’t matter; we are there; enjoy it!!!

    • Let me make myself very clear….my post was not in any way shape or form a pop at the club…just my personal feelings on the hooped kit. I also don’t think it’s nonsence to want the club to play in it’s superb retro Claret and Amber hoops..rather than the Roma style kit. Like every other BCFC fan, I’ve every intention of enjoying the day whatever colours BCFC happen to be wearing at Wembley.

  6. I’ve been trying to get shirts for my kids since before Xmas regardless of CapitalOne success. Shame that they can’t get them and hence where non-BC shirts.

  7. It would seem that Nike are just the same as any other shirt supplier we have had in the past. Apart from Beaver really. The last shirt I bought was the Centenary one Home & Away. We never celebrated that year as much as we should have done.
    We should wear the Hoops at Wembley, keep the Hoops, and make them Full Hoops for the next shirt. Lord knows we wore white for long enough. If a T-Shirt is produced similar to the Remember or the Keep Calm ones I will get one. City Gent might be doing a T-Shirt apparently.

  8. Very, very poor service from Nike. We get to a major final for the first time in over 100 years and are unable to maximise our returns by selling extra numbers of even our normal home shirt, never mind a commemorative version of it. This is shocking and ridiculous.
    I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t commission extra supplies if they really wanted to. Clearly putting their profits ahead of ours and losing a lot of goodwill in the process. Surely it would be worth their while to get emergency supplies made up, even if they have to sell them at a loss, to be seen to support the underdog and gain good publicity.

  9. Nike – sponsored Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. ‘Nuff said.

    • I am amazed that Nike cannot produce the material to make more shirts, i ‘m pretty certain that this is produced in the far east, modern weaving machines take a matter of minutes to set up, Nike will have the computer program , airfreight the fent to the uk and outsource the making up.
      I do agree with the vast majority of supporters however, we play in claret and amber, play in the hoops.

  10. We must wear the hoops.
    This is the best kit we have ever had.
    Go black shorts & socks and socks if required so no clash.
    Surely Nike can sort something out, would be good publicity for them if they do.

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