Leeds is a city with historic ties to the industry of tailoring, with the Montague Burton factory in Leeds considered a city unto itself during its peak of the 1930s. The city’s sizeable Jewish population also had a hand in the tailoring industry, with the industry essentially sustaining the community at certain junctures, with 63% of the male working members of the community employed as tailors in 1901. For a city with such a great past for quality clothing, one of the representatives of the city, Leeds United, should be enrobed in a glorious manner. What has been revealed today is anything but that.
This coming season is the 54th anniversary of the first time we wore an all-white kit, the transition having been made at the hands of Don Revie. Since then, there’s been some spectacular interpretations of a kit and colour that should ooze class, the footballing equivalent of a classy white collared shirt. Below is a picture that symbolises how brilliant it can look:
In the last few years Macron, an Italian sportswear manufacturer, have taken over the license for Leeds kits, and systematically ruined every design. 2010/11 is the only high point, where a team playing beautiful attacking football had a kit to match:
Today’s announcement is an abomination to the notion of the all-white kit. It would be fine as an AC Milan away kit in 1995, because that’s what it looks like. This is not Leeds United at all. As I said before, it is incredibly easy to design a good Leeds kit – it has to be white, and wearable. It is similarly incredibly easy to ruin one with superfluous additions. It should be basic and simple, and that is always enough.
Today’s kit is the equivalent of racing stripes on a white Mustang. It’s unnecessary, tacky and makes it look like crap. It also speaks for how out of touch whoever makes these decisions is at Leeds with the fanbase at large – how many people will have emailed repeatedly GFH Capital’s email address for suggestions about Leeds, and how massively must these have been ignored to get today’s result.
The response has been incredibly negative, and will likely lead to poorer sales than anticipated. With the club probably requiring funds for a promotion push, this is probably not the reception that was wanted. The sad thing is that clearly the fans could do a better job of telling Macron what is actually wanted than whoever selected this design at Elland Road – in 12 months, we’ll have to go again and hope they get it right next time.
Here are some other favourites: