Brighton home kit 2022-23: The result of a boozy lunch at the Nike factory? – with a Fatboy Slim and Panini mix-up

Ian Hart on Brighton and Hove Albion’s new home kit for the Premier League campaign
Brighton and Hove Albion's new home kit for the 2022-23 seasonBrighton and Hove Albion's new home kit for the 2022-23 season
Brighton and Hove Albion's new home kit for the 2022-23 season

Thank goodness Harty Junior is coming up 28 during the forthcoming season. We had just a quick tot-up earlier this week and he estimated that the Commander In Chief and I had bought him – since his very first kit aged two in 1997 – 10 home kits, 14 away and third kits and three goalkeeper kits.

Gone are the days when the Albion would have a kit for at least two seasons, and as every Albion supporters parent will testify, even going back 25 years, it’s certainly not cheap.

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But new ground was broken last week, although the club would be at pains to admit it.

The scene was set for the unveiling of the new 2022/23 kit at Fat Boy Slim’s beach party on Thursday night. The popular disc jockey was going to wear the new shirt exclusively on stage at 8.15pm… Unfortunately no one told the Panini sticker company!

Either that or they don’t understand an NDA agreement. Because the kit was leaked in the afternoon in a Panini advert, with Neal Maupay photoshopped wearing it.

But only if it was as simple as an overzealous PR man at the sticker company getting his timings wrong! No, the tin hat was firmly put on the whole scenario.

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It is my belief that the new Albion first team shirt is the WORST one I’ve seen in my 50 years supporting the club. Cliche alert, but there are actually no words, other than dire or abysmal.

But in all seriousness, this is not the result of a boozy lunch at the Nike factory. My sources in the sportswear world inform me, that every kit from first draft to last Thursday, has a production time of 12/18 months.

Did no one at the club in that time actually look at it and think, “Hold on, that’s dreadful!”

Or do they think the support will buy any old tat for around £50 a pop – provided it’s got the club badge on it?

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And believe me, it’s not easy writing this column this week because in the main Tony Bloom, Paul Barber and everyone else at the club look out for the Albion support above and beyond most of the other clubs in the EPL.

I will stand corrected, but will only be corrected if I see audited figures, but this will surely be the worst selling first team shirt of the last decade!

Let’s hope this is a mere blip, and next year’s home kit – hopefully revealed by Shakin Stevens at his headlining gig at Worthing Pride 2023 – is something every fan of the Albion can have pride in, pardon the pun.

And I couldn’t finish this week without commenting on the latest Albion transfer speculation – a £15 million bid for Maupay from Italian club Salernitana.

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Ludicrous, 1: How can we replace Maupay for £15 million? and 2) remember where you read this first, with a good run in the team, this will be his season!

But if that’s the prawn cocktail, the current main course is Marc Cucurella going to Man City.

I firmly believe at this point in his career he has no desire to leave the Albion, and whilst every player has a price, City won’t pay £50million for him at this point.

Matter closed, see you next week, I’m off to buy an Albion shirt!