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Saints Part Company With Adidas For Next Season
Wednesday, 14th May 2014 13:01

It's been revealed that Saints will not be wearing Adidas next season after the club got shirty with their kit manufacturers back in December of last year.

A club statement said:

"Following months of discussions at the end of last year, the decision was made at the start of December 2013 that the Club would terminate its contract with its Official Technical Supplier, adidas.

"In February and March of this year, the Club worked hard to repair the relationship with adidas but, despite these healthy discussions, it has become clear that, due to the short lead times involved, adidas were unable to produce a Southampton kit in time for next season.

"As a result of this the Club has had to find an alternative solution, and we will be unveiling exciting news regarding our 2014/15 kit within the next couple of months."

Rumours of unrest appeared within weeks of the season starting and the rumour mill was saying that Nicola Cortese felt that Adidas had over charged the club after he had spotted an identical plain shirt to Saints but without the badges etc on sale for around £10.

If this was true the irony was that Saints had priced their version of the shirt at £49.99 whereas for instance Bristol City with an almost identical design were pricing it to their fans at £39.99, whilst most of the other Premier League clubs in Adidas charged £44.99.

But the shirt design was not popular with the majority of supporters for a number of reasons, mainly that it was an off the peg design which was being sported by any number of other clubs in a different colour, for instance Fulham's home kit matched our away kit in reverse.

A further irony was that the sides in Adidas kits in stripes actually looked the least off the peg, Sunderland, Stoke and Hull for instance whereas those with plain shirts all seemed to have the identical designs to others for both home and away kits.

Another rumour doing the rounds was that the Saints werent happy with the training kit, again being identical to everyone else.

But the truth is that whoever was doing the negotiating would have been aware of all this and knowing our ex Chairman's penchant for always making the final decision, surely he knew what he was getting into.

As stated the fall out came in December and that clearly when Cortese left the new board tried to rescue the relationship with Adidas, the problem being that the timescale was now too tight for Adidas to be able to deliver the goods.

Now Saints will have to look for another supplier, given that Adidas cornered the market last year in the Premier and beyond, there should be a lot of suppliers who will not have the amount of orders that Adidas will have to deal with so will be able to offer Saints what they need.

Umbro have been mentioned and certainly they were a good supplier to Saints in the past, not pushing for payment from outstanding orders as we headed to administration and producing kit at short notice when we came out.

Their ultimate reward was to see Saints go to Adidas, on the face of it a good move given the usual standard of their kit, what is clear though is that Adidas were so popular that they had too many teams for not enough designs, our plain kit did not make us stand out from the rest and ultimately we did not negotiate with them a good deal.

Rumour is also that Adidas will return for 2015/16 and that next years will be a temporary sojourn with another manufacturer, that will cost us money as supporters are more likely to buy a shirt if it is a name brand and from that viewpoint we will lose out.

Photo: Action Images

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bstokesaint added 13:18 - May 14
I normally like Adidas sportswear, but last season's kit was awful, in more ways than one. I'd be happy to see us go back to Umbro. I think their training gear too was pretty decent.

Just out of interest doing any sports manufacturers do individually designed kits still? I thought identikits were a thing of the modern day game.

BoondockSaint added 13:45 - May 14
No surprises here! Usual tactics by Cortese-negotiate deal, then try to weasel out of it later.
If Adidas has most of the league, surely others Nike, Puma, Umbro, etc will be more than willing to do a good design and good deal to get more exposure in the most popular league in the world?
Like you said, Umbro deserved better, given their past history, plus aren't they an English company? So it would be good PR to buy locally.
Big question is what sponsor's logo is going on the front, and for how much?

ItchenNorth added 14:05 - May 14
I think it’s a miff that any club can get a bespoke kit design. The each manufacture only has a small number of template designs and you see them everywhere at any number of clubs. The only way Saints can stand out from the crowd for me is to go back to the Sash design. Only Palace and Man City spring to mind at using a sash, but theseare not their home kits. I’d like to see Puma or Kappa on-board; someone that will make something that’s not dull to look at. We need a decent manufacturer though, I really home we don’t go back to ‘in house’ production as looking back they were terrible shirts; hot, uncomfortable and very cheap looking.

Dystopia added 15:18 - May 14
BoondockSaint, Umbro were a British company who then got bought out by Nike, and the sponsor is Veho ( I don't know how much they are paying though

GeordieSaint added 19:25 - May 14
Wasn't keen on the shirt but really wanted to buy one of those cool match day tracky tops the players wear. They have been sold out of medium since Christmas on the website and I suppose this explains why.

BoondockSaint added 20:51 - May 14
Thanks for the info, Dystopia! So the tentacles of Hydra, I mean Nike gobbled Umbro up!
New sponsor's site says just the one year, so looks like Saints are keeping their options open.

ExiledSupporter added 10:46 - May 15
Amazed that people fuss about whether the shirt is Adidas or Umbro or whatever brand. Surely it is the Southampton brand that should be uppermost in our minds and the design and quality of material/style.

For goodness sake let's go back to the red and white stripes et al and take pride in our heritage.

Of course...having said what I think should be the priorities (above) this consideration will have no bearing on what will happen if consumers are mistakenly more bothered about the manufacturers brand and want to 'pose' in what they consider to be the most fashion conscious brand.

After all so many of supporters in team strip are just fat geezers in shirts a size too small for their unathletic shapes!

saintmark1976 added 10:52 - May 15
I truly do not care who makes it as long as it is red and white stripes.

Man U at home always play in red as do Liverpool and Arsenal.Chelsea and Everton in Blue and Spurs in White. Lets just return to our tradition and play in red and white stripes please.

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