I was missing Italy yesterday. It would have been great to have been back there to pop down to our favourite bar/coffee shop in Servigliano to bask in the glory of the four Premiership’s clubs winning through to the Champion’s League quarter finals. Three of those clubs having won against top Italian Serie A sides of course. That said all the 2nd leg matches were close (except Liverpool’s virtual bye against the ageing matadors of Real Madrid) but there seems to be a lot of teeth gnashing in the Italian press about the power and strength in the Premiership. Well these things are cyclical but at the moment we do seem to be top dogs, which almost certainly means that Barca will go and win the bloody tournament – no doubt pleasing Messrs Platini and Blatter enormously.
But I’ve got a theory that it’s not just mere wealth but also club colours that play a significantly large part in football success. Just think about it when was the last time a team not wearing a predominantly red or blue strip won the Premiership or Champions League for that matter? All those Italian and Spanish teams playing in stripes are just asking to get beaten.When, for example, was the last time Sheffield Wednesday were a major force on the European scene? About the same time that Brentford were. QED.
But if it’s all solid reds and blues to deliver success then it does get a bit samey don’t you think? Did you ever wonder why club colours in the English Premier and football leagues are what they are and why they are so, well, dull and repetitive and unimaginative? I think about things like this all the time. Just think about how many teams play in predominantly red and blue, then how many in stripes, how many in variations on predominantly white etc. There are several teams who play in hoops (why was that the chosen style over stripes I wonder?) and a small number of sides who play in green and yellow. I’ve been counting up and I reckon there are 6 sides which play in claret predominantly – Villa, West Ham, Burnley, Scunthorpe, Northampton and Bradford. Why on earth did claret become so popular? Maybe it was the Chairman’s favourite tipple.
So which are the most distinctive or different shirt designs/colours? I reckon Blackburn Rover’s quartered shirts are unusual and also ugly and Wycombe’s halved shirts get close to emulating them. Wolves fans might claim that the old gold and black is unique but I’m also sure that little old Barnet play in the same colours and maybe even Hull City too. Why does nobody play in regal purple (the only top flight team to do so that I can think of are are Fiorentina in Serie A and strictly speaking I think that’s classified as violet).
There are and have some striking and hideous change strips – the Coventry brown shirt from the 70’s was priceless and Arsenal used to play in a very abstract green, red and yellow horror. But the classically unique shirt colour in the world of football has got to be Blackpool FC’s choice of tangerine. Look at this classic beauty:
Heaven knows why this was chosen over straightforward orange but you’ve got to admire the integrity of the decision. If anyone can shed light on it I’d be really interested. And let me know your favourite colours and most hideous designs.