When it comes to their biggest clubs, Nike and adidas aren’t going a full season without unveiling new uniforms, and while that contradicts the old “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” rule, that axiom (and the word axiom itself) is something your grandpa would say. This is 2014. New kits are just as important as Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, and Taco Tuesdays. They’re going to happen, whether you want them to or not.
Still, there’s something particularly aggravating about Barcelona potentially moving away from vertical stripes, a move which, according to Sport, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has authorized Nike to make. The rest of the board hasn’t signed on, yet, and the decision likely to draw disdain from the club’s traditionalists. But with kits sales reportedly down, decision makers are looking for a drastic change, one that will move shirts.
Barça certainly has its share of traditionalists, but over the last few years, their views haven’t been able to stave off the realities of modern soccer. Barcelona used to have “UNICEF” across its chests. No more. Now they’re signing underage kids, hopping in bed with Qatari oil money, and seeing presidents resign over transfer dealings.
We’ve mentioned it before: Barcelona is no longer més que un club. That doesn’t make it evil. It just makes the old school rhetoric seem out of touch.
So vertical stripes: Who needs them? Seriously. It’s just a kit. Horizontal stripes look weird because the Blaugrana have always gone vertical, but maybe that’s as anachronistic as your grandpa’s clichés. In Barcelona’s era of “why not,” why not embrace vertical stripes, run them behind a “Qatar Airways” sponsorship, and display each proudly on the club’s next trip to Doha. Igual que alters clubs.