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Fans frustrated as Ipswich Town’s ‘Barcelona’ away kit is worn just once

10:00 26 January 2016

Ethan Jarvis , 8, is annoyed that Ipswich Town have only played once in their new away kit this season.

Ethan Jarvis , 8, is annoyed that Ipswich Town have only played once in their new away kit this season.

Ipswich Town’s maroon and navy striped away shirt was welcomed with hugely positive reviews when it was launched in the summer, with strong sales continuing throughout the season.

Cole Skuse, pictured wearing Ipswich Town's 'Barcelona' away kit on its one and only outing, away at Blackburn in October. Picture by Warren PageCole Skuse, pictured wearing Ipswich Town's 'Barcelona' away kit on its one and only outing, away at Blackburn in October. Picture by Warren Page

But to date the Barcelona-inspired kit has been used just once this season – during a 2-0 away loss at Blackburn in October – much to the frustration of supporters who have paid as much as £70 for the whole kit and up to £45 for the shirt.

Instead of using the shirt, the Blues have instead worn a specially-produced Adidas orange strip away from Portman Road, which has been used at Reading, Brighton, Portsmouth and Birmingham.

However, this has not been put on sale to fans, which has added to their annoyance.

Martin Swallow, 47, who follows the club home and away, believes an effort should be made to compensate fans who have bought the shirt, by giving those affected money off next season’s kit.

He said: “It’s really frustrating, so many people bought it because we expected it to be the main away kit, but we’ve barely worn it and the fans haven’t been able to see the benefit.

“I think the club need to think about next season and maybe offer a reduction in price for anyone who bought this season’s shirt because we’re not cash cows.”

As well as seasoned football fans, the situation surrounding the club’s away kit has also disappointed younger sections of the club’s support.

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis’s eight-year-old son, Ethan, loves the shirt because of the connections with Spanish giants Barca, but is disappointed he’s not been able to see his Ipswich heroes wear it more regularly.

She said: “He absolutely loves his Ipswich away kit. He and his friends have a bit of an obsession with FC Barcelona and all love ITFC so, for them, it combined the best of both worlds.

“When he got it for his birthday and put it on for the first time he was so excited. It’s just a shame he hasn’t had much opportunity to see his team wear it – especially when you factor in the cost which was around £70.”

A poll run on our website yesterday showed 69% of fans were unhappy at the shirt’s under use, with 31% still happy they bought the kit. Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club, shares the fans’ frustrations.

“There was huge excitement when the shirt was launched,” she said.

“It is a fantastic design, has proved a best seller and it is a real shame that for some reason we haven’t worn it more often on the pitch.

“I fully understand the fans’ frustrations and many have spoken to me about it. All comments have been passed to ITFC. Personally I hope we see the team in the shirt several times before the end of the season.”

Media manager Steve Pearce said it’s always manager Mick McCarthy preference for his side to wear blue away from home where possible, rather than mix and match different elements of the club’s three kits, but that the Blues would look to ensure a similar situation doesn’t arise in the future.

He said: “Mick sees matchday as Town wearing blue, so where possible we will wear the home kit, with blue shorts if needed.

Freddie Sears celebrates his goal at Reading, wearing Ipswich Town's orange third kitFreddie Sears celebrates his goal at Reading, wearing Ipswich Town's orange third kit

“It’s not just shirts that are affected by a colour clash when a referee looks at kit, it’s shorts and socks as well, even the goalkeeper’s kit can come into the equation.

“The design of the away kit means we can’t ‘mix and match’ shorts and socks with the other kits we have. It just doesn’t go so the orange strip is then used.

“The away kit has proved extremely popular and supporters have continued to purchase the shirt throughout the season but the fact that its use has been restricted will be taken into consideration when choosing away kits in the future.”

The Blues are likely to wear change colours on four more occasions this season, at QPR, Huddersfield, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday.

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  • Newspapers, along with other media, help stoke the fire of football club adoration (always backed up adding the fuel of local rivalry); for some fans this turns into an obsession. We cannot mock these people, they have something they believe in and is important to them. The real pity is that they are being taken advantage of by clubs who offer products (including match tickets) at very high prices. This is to enable them to pay obscene salaries to managers and players. If managers and players were offered decent wages, say a maximum of £200,000 a year, then prices for tickets and replica kits could drop massively. Fans will say that without paying huge wages their club will not get the best players but, in reality, an amazing football player is not often likely to do something else and earn anywhere near that sum of money. I could not see Beckham, for example, as a senior company executive. There would be nothing stopping footballers obtaining money from advertisers and this could be very large sums for the BEST players. So the motivation to stay in football, to strive to be a highly-rated player (and also have the kudos of playing for the best clubs) and to earn a very worthwhile salary of up to £200,000 per year, plus sponsorship deals, would definitely be there. The financial benefit to fans would be immense. But it is not likely to happen unless the vast majority of fans boycott attending matches until it does.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • A good away strip needs to offer contrast to the home kit hence why the orange kit is so much more useful. The 'farcelona' kit looks nice but I think that it was clear from the outset this was a style over substance design in an effort to make money.

    Report this comment

    Jim C

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016

  • Why bother paying full price when you can buy the whole thing for half price 6 months later? Also what was wrong with alternating between a new home and away kit every other season?

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • OLD TIMER oh come on Copleston Old Boys Res aint that bad.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Supporters seeming will buy anything! Why not buy a "retro" shirt from the FA Cup or UEFA Cup winning teams, and only buy a new one when the club actually win something to warrant investing a small fortune in? That attitude might make teams (not just ITFC) actually try and win something in order to get money into the club shop, rather than field a team that Copleston Old Boys Reserves (let alone the likes of Portsmouth) can easily beat in the FA Cup, Plus the older shirts are much better looking than the new ones.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Come on, anyone going into buying any club shirts go into that sale knowing that they are being ripped off. I would imagine that these shirts are made somewhere like a Bangladesh sweat shop, costing no more than 60 pence to a £1 each at factory gate. So who gets the fans hard earned money. Don't buy unless you see it as giving to charity, in this case ITFC.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Maybe we could wear an all red strip eh John 5myth-4... The only complaint Town fans are having to those non football fan readers,is the tiki tractor top is the clubs official alternate kit, and it's only been used once,the orange alternate kit Town are using isn't for sale,fans would prefer to buy kits the club actually use

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Old Timer, I'll have you know that Barcelona's entire philosophy of playing football is based on Copleston Old Boys Reserves. Joking aside, I fail to understand why fans complain about club shirts. As others have pointed out, red and blue stripes are unlikely to be worn much. The pricing (and subsequent profit) of the items is very high. No one is forcing anyone to buy these shirts.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Exile

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Nothing here about why the orange strip isn't available to the fans. Surely a strip that is fairly plain is likely to be more useful. At least neither of these strips is awful as Norwich's multi horizontal striped kit, something more to laugh at them for!

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • I'd be more frustrated that 1p5wich don't play like Barcelona if i'm honest. Also being stuck in the championship for 15 consecutive seasons is more alarming than what color kit they play...

    Report this comment

    john smyth

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • The 2nd & 3rd kits may be based on great footballing sides like Barcelona & the Netherlands - pity the actual style of play is more akin to Copleston Old Boys Reserves.

    Report this comment

    Old Timer

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Whoever it was who worked out that football fans are stupid enough to pay ridiculous amounts of money for stuff like this was a marketing genius. There's a simple answer if you don't think it represents good value for money (hint: it doesn't) - don't buy it!

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Stop and think about it just for a moment: an away kit that is all blue and red will never be worn much - because its colours clash with most of the other clubs' home strips!! If you shelled out 45 quid for this mere money making ruse by the club, then more fool you.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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