Posted by John Devlin

I watched the movie ‘Goal’ again the other night on DVD. I know its come in for some stick as being a bit cheesy and predictable but I have to say I love it! I think is a really entertaining film which perhaps gives some insight to the background of a football club. Sure, there are a few factual errors concerning transfers and fixtures but it does have large doses of real emotion and excitement which more than makes up for it.For those of you not familiar with the film, the basic plot concerns a young, poor Mexican lad, Santiago, who is working in LA when he gets discovered playing football by an ex-Newcastle Utd player and brought over to England for a trial with the club.

The film portrays the conflicts Santiago experiences with his working-class family in LA before his arrival in Newcastle where he then encounters the very different English game complete with thuggish defenders, a playboy teammate who leads him astray into the world of night clubs and drinking and of course a love interest (played by Anna Friel). Will he make the grade? Rent the DVD and find out! 

There’s cameos from several Newcastle players of the time (including Alan Shearer) along with Beckham, Raul and Zidane. Plus the film is heavily supported by adidas whose Newcastle kit, naturally, features prominently. Which leads me on to the point of this blog…

One thing I noticed was how the filmmakers used the iconic black and white stripes of Newcastle Utd to maximum effect. (WARNING PLOT SPOILER FOLLOWS) Every single game Santiago plays before his final (glorious!) game of the season features Newcastle wearing their away kit – even though many times there is no colour clash. Only when the last do-or-die game arrives (the climax of the film) does the side get to wear the stripes.This really adds drama and impact to this all-important game and yet again shows the importance, emotion and power a football kit can have.

What’s new on the site

Posted by John Devlin

Theres plenty coming up on the TRUE COLOURS site – I’ve added a new section on 08-09 kits (see top navigation) which will feature detailed illustrations of this season’s kits for all the sides that are included in both volumes of TRUE COLOURS. These will be added over the next couple of weeks.I’ve also got some more retro kit features that I hope will be of interest (especially for those of us the wrong side of 30!) and a couple of very exciting exclusives – more on those later.

Newcastle United v Hull City

Posted by John Devlin

Poor choice of kit from Hull at the weekend – anyone notice that the club had to borrow old pairs of Newcastle’s away shorts and socks to avoid a colour clash in their clash at St James Park? It was on the cards though – Hull’s away kit is all grey, there was bound to be at least one issue playing against a club who wear black and white!

Sign of the times

Posted by John Devlin

With the financial situation worsening what is its implication for football? I’ve written a new article which was posted on Sunday concerning the West Brom/West Ham match. Now it seems AIG are in trouble spelling problems for Manchester Utd. You can read the article here: http://www.truecoloursfootballkits.com/articles/sign-of-the-times

Sign of the Times?

Posted by John Devlin

West Ham West Brom sponsorless shirts football jersey kit xl holidaysOne for pub quizzes of the future – ‘what was unusual about the Premier League fixture between West Brom & West Ham in September 2008?’ Of course…both sides played without a shirt sponsor’s logo – to my mind the only time this has happened since the Premier League’s formation in 1992 (apart from of course the ‘tribute’ Manchester derby last season).

Anyone following the sad demise of XL Holidays this week will no doubt be aware of the implications it has for West Ham, the side who the firm just recently signed a multi-million pound sponsorship deal. The rumours were that the side were going to sport the XL logo in the WBA game to fufill contractual requirements before removing it for future matches. It is relatively rare, certain in the top flight of English football, that a company who can afford to sponsor a shirt hit severe financial difficulties that threaten their existance mid-season. The only previous examples I can recall were:

Allsports who sponsored Charlton’s shirts until midway through the 05–06 season until they went bust (the shirts taken over by Spanish property company Llanera who ironically also hit problems a couple of seasons later);

First Advice who collapsed shortly before the start of the 03–04 season, although curiously Manchester City carried on sporting the company’s brand on their jerseys throughout the season (it seems it would have been more costly and politically problematic to alter the shirts – apparently a stock of 100,000 replica ‘First Advice’ home shirts still existed – Thomas Cook were lined up to sponsor the away shirt for the 03–04 campaign but this never materialised);

and Newcastle Utd sponsors Northern Rock whose fiscal problems were well documented last year. The company were actually taken over by the government at the start of 2008 and yet their shirt sponsorship deal with Newcastle continued – effectively meaning that the Government were spending tax-payers cash in supporting a football club. Understandably this move created some degree of controversy.

west bromwich albion wba sponsorless shirts advert umbro 08-09West Brom’s situation is different though – they have simply been unable to secure a sponsorship deal yet for this season – despite the club’s unashamed campaign to attract a suitable partner. Replica shirts are being sold without a logo although supporters will be able to return the shirts to the club for a sponsor’s logo to be added once a deal has been confirmed. It will be interesting to see just how many supporters take the club up on this offer.

The Baggies are not the first Premier League side to struggle to secure shirt sponsorship however  – West Ham played most of 97–98 without a sponsor before Dr Martens stepped in (did you see what I did there!) towards the end of the season and both Sheffield Wednesday and Wimbledon played with ‘empty’ shirts in the early days of the Premier League.

One business sector that hasn’t yet been affected too much by the recession and can still be seen frequently as shirt sponsors throughout the land is that of online betting/poker companies such as www.partypoker.com who have sponsored Leyton Orient since 2007.

Although the purists may be pleased, sadly (financially at least – shirt sponsor deals are vital to football clubs these days), sponsorless shirts may become more common as the (and I hate to repeat this over-used phrase) ‘Credit Crunch’ bites. With many airlines/holiday companys rumoured to be in trouble several clubs may be affected and with most companies being more cautious with their pennies shirt deals may be some way down their list of priorities. The West Brom/West Ham game may prove to be the first of many.

True Colours in Leeds United Programme

Posted by John Devlin

I’m proud to announce that a little piece of ‘True Colours’ will feature in every Leeds United home programme in the 08-09 season as the club will be including one of their kit illustrations (taken from Volume 2) in every edition. The kits will be in a section called ‘We Wore It Well’. The first one was in the Oldham programme and included the 84-85 away kit.