Southampton supporters will have little to smile about today as their new home and away kits were released for the 2013-14 season.
The Premier League club, who finished 14th last season, have teamed-up with the famous sports manufacturer adidas, who are sponsors of many kits in English football.
Leaked pictures of the new home and away shirts were discovered on sites days before the official release by the club, with Southampton fans expressing their embarrassment and hopefulness that the leaks were fakes. Although it turned out to be the genuine 2013-14 shirts.
The Saints fans were disappointed last season when the club revealed a new strip (designed by Umbro), which failed to include any of the club’s traditional stripes, a feature that has been apparent in most of their kits throughout the Saints’ history.
Not only have the club released a kit without the traditional stripes again, but they have also raised the prices from last year’s strip. Shirt prices ahead of the 2013-14 campaign have risen to £50, compared to last season’s reasonable £32.
The Southampton players will have to wear non-striped shirts for another season as supporters question the chairman’s respect to the club’s tradition.
Nicola Cortese, the club’s controversial chairman, revealed season ticket holders would receive a 10% discount on the home/away shirt, this was a deal the supporters were happy with – until they realized how expensive the shirts were.
Despite scrapping the stripes, it was revealed last November that Southampton’s 2012-13 kit was the fastest selling ever for the club.
More outrage was expressed when the Southampton fans noticed other football league kits looked almost identical to the new strip. Bristol City’s new 2013-14 home shirt is shown to use the same Adidas template as the Saints’ newly released outfit.
The Saints fans have already started social network campaigns against the new shirt, with tweets directed at the football club reading “#SaveOurStripes”.