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Brighton and Hove Albion Kit Cock Ups

There were audible groans when Brighton and Hove Albion made an announcement about the announcement of their new kit for the 2016-17 season - why couldn't the club just get on and launch it already like virtually every other club in the Football League has?

But that would of course be ignoring the fine tradition of Brighton and Hove Albion kit cock ups down the years. Normally the reveal of the new kits are dogged by ridiculous problems - ordering the wrong shade of blue for example, making all three of the new kits blue and the kit not even being available until October.

It's a credit to the new streamlined and professional outlook of the club that we haven't had any sort of kafuffle in recent seasons but everyone's moaning about the delay and the fantastic announcement of an announcement led to us to get our thinking caps on and we came up with these - the top five Brighton and Hove Albion Kit Cock Ups.

1) The 2007-08 season "Lets make all three kits blue" cock up
Dick Knight used to love designing a kit and arguably his greatest achievement in that regard came with the ludicrous idea to make all three kits for the 2008-09 season blue. The home shirt was the traditional royal blue and white stripes, the away kit was a dazzling navy blue and yellow stripes and the third kit was a Coventry City-esque sky blue. All very nice, except of course what happens if we play someone else who wears blue? It won't be a problem the club said. Cue an away game at Shrewsbury in the Johnstone Paint Pot four months into the season and a "special one off edition" white kit. Which didn't prove to be a one-off as we also had to wear it away at Millwall later in the season. The ridiculousness of having three kits all featuring the same colour reached it's nadir with the trip to Leicester City when the Albion were forced into wearing The Foxes yellow away kit due to the clash. The cock up was duly noted with a red and black replacement arriving for the next season.
   
2) The 2004-05 season "We've ordered the wrong shade of blue" cock up
This is a scene that frankly we'd have loved to be present at. Imagine the excitement as the new home kit arrives at Seagulls HQ, ready to be revealed to the masses ahead of the 2004-05 season. And then it turns out to be the wrong colour. At the time, the Albion loved getting their designs and orders in as late as possible (see number four on the list) and that ultimately led to the late arrival of the new kit which was in the wrong shade of blue. Yes, that monstrosity of a sky blue and white striped shirt was apparently never meant to have been that colour. We also had a great history of saving face around this period which had previously landed Martin Hinshelwood in the managers hot seat after former Cameron boss Winfried Schafer pulled out of the job at the last minute and, rather than tell the assembled press they had gathered at The Grand Hotel for no reason, Hinshelwood stepped into the breach. Well this attempt at saving face landed us with an Argentina style kit for two seasons, during which under Mark McGhee the team played nothing like La Seleccion as a limp relegation from the Championship followed in 2006.
   
3) The 2005-06 season "Vote for a new away kit" cock up
Democracy can be a right pain - just look at the fall out from the Brexit vote. The Albion discovered just how much of a pain 10 years before Britain voted to leave the European Union when they opened up the choice of the new away kit to supporters. The premise was quite simple - pick the kit you like, and text the relevant code into the club. At the time, the green and black kit seemed to be the most popular among supporters, yet when the result was announced it was maroon that had won the day. Of course, the fact that before the vote the clubs staff were all wearing maroon training gear didn't make the result look as though it had been rigged at all. We were later told that the green and black design three (left of the picture) was unsurprisingly the winner of the vote, yet the club had combined together all the votes for the four various maroon kits to deem it the most popular colour and therefore the winner. We had to wait another six years for a green and black striped top which remains one of the best that we have had. Democracy - it just doesn't work, does it?
   
4) The 2002-03 season "Kit finally turns up in October" cock up
We've already touched upon the Albion's brilliant ability to leave it to the last minute before sorting out the kit for the following season and that reached its zenith in 2002-03 when fans had to wait until October was here to get their hands on the new home shirt. Errea were working at full blown capacity that summer and that meant a significant delay which saw supporters resulting to buying training tops with the new look Skint sponsor on in place of actual kit. The lateness was mirrored on the pitch, with Brighton only turning up to the Championship party once Steve Coppell was appointed two months into the season with a 12 game losing streak severely denting the chances of staying in the Championship. That it went down to the last day of the season was nothing short of a miracle.
   
5) The 1997-98 season "We don't know who the sponsor will be" cock up
This one is slightly harder to lay at the clubs door given the turmoil that was going on at the time. Homeless and with Dick Knight's official takeover of the club imminent, nobody knew who the shirt sponsor for the 1997-98 season was going to be. The campaign began with Sandtex across the front of the shirt but Knight wanted Donatello to take over once his chairmanship was fully confirmed. And so hatched this ingenious idea to put the sponsor on a bloody great white felt panel. The theory went that if the sponsor changed, a new one could just be placed over the top of the panel - indeed, some supporters handed out Donatello stickers to cover up the name of the paint company who were all too associated with Focus DIY. As it was, Sandtex remained the sponsor for the rest of the season and fans were able to get a genuine shirt minus felt panel later on in the campaign in exchange for that thing.

Are you looking forward to the launch of the new Brighton and Hove Albion kit? What other kit cock ups have you enjoyed down the years? Let us know with the comment form below.


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