The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

JOZYXQE? That’s not a word

13 June 2018

I like Town to play in red socks, and I didn’t care a great deal for the shirt that had black and white halves instead of quarters. (Was that when Graham Rodger had his ten-minute turn as manager? It seems a long time ago now. That’s because it is a long time ago now.) Other than that, your original/regular Diary finds it hard to muster up much interest in different kits.

Don’t get me wrong – I like it that different kits exist. I like it that other people are very passionate about different kits. It’s one of those little things that enrich the culture of football in small but meaningful ways. I can appreciate it even if I don’t quite get it. It’s not that I’d be happier if different kits didn’t exist. They don’t irritate me. They’re not futsal.

For all that, I couldn’t help looking at Town’s new kits the other day and thinking, yeah, handsome. I like it that they commemorate the club’s 140th anniversary. The stripes are dead proper. The red and black second kit is strong. There’s not a horrible flappy collar. Handsome.

I’ve owned a couple of the regular replica shirts that you buy from the club shop. I’ve never quite got on with wearing regular replica shirts though. They just don’t look and feel right on me. I don’t know if it’s the fabric, or the fit, or what. Probably the fit. They’re made for professional athletes who have actual upper body strength, rather than willowy English literature graduates who experience breathing difficulties and need regular rest periods during the task of changing a light bulb.

I prefer the ‘retro’ shirts you can get, based on kits from the 1950s or whatever, made from heavy cotton, with no sponsor or any of that. Sponsors’ logos are another issue. In any other context, advertisers pay you for advertising space. I’ve never quite understood why, in the context of football shirts, this logic is reversed and fans pay 40 or 50 quid to become a walking billboard.

What’s my message here? My message here is, I dunno, do a special 140th anniversary kit with long sleeves and no logo and I’d maybe buy one, otherwise no, probably not, same as always. I rewatched the film of The Damned United on telly last night and it reminds you how much better football looked in the 1970s, before every square centimetre of space became monetised. That’s notwithstanding the sideburns.

As you will have gathered from the unnecessarily lengthy opening riff on football shirts – and from, you know, looking at the actual GTFC news on other websites and stuff – there is no movement in the transfer market. Reports claim, however, that Town have knocked back a bid from Bradford for Siriki Dembele. A club looking upwards in the third tier would be a good move for the player, and ought to realise a reasonable fee. £100,000 would be excellent, though I’m guessing Town would accept half that just to get the thing over with. If this offer is real, I suspect it is of the kind that purport to test the water but merely take the piss.

I see the 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the USA, which is kind of funny since the president of the USA is doing his best to build both a literal wall against Mexico and a diplomatic wall against Canada. This is super exciting though, and hopefully our friends in the Vancouver Whitecaps fan community will get a game on their doorstep. I’m a bit surprised that the only other bid came from Morocco, but perhaps the job of hosting World Cups has become less prestigious and more hassle than it’s worth. You know, like the job of managing England.

That’ll have to do for now then. If you want to know who Dayle Southwell and Ashley Chambers have just signed for, you’ll have to look on the internet. UTM, CUNW.