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Too Many Kits Spoil the Cloth

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 17/06/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN have been criticised for an announcement that the club will be bringing out their fourth new kit in twelve months, bringing pressure on parents by kids who will want to get the latest strip worn by their heroes.

In an article in the Saturday Telegraph the GET spoke to Jim Connor of the "Sing When We're Fishing" fanzine who commented: "It's unreasonable for parents because the kids are going to want the latest strip. It makes it difficult for them and they are going to be hard pressed to keep up with a strip that changes every twelve months."

"That's where a family would have a problem-especially if they have a couple of kids who want a shirt."

"They [the club] are making some concessions, especially with the £50 season tickets and they have to be praised for that. The price of the strip will be one good thing. It's a good price compared to other clubs kits."

Town's kit suppliers Avec have been taken over by the Mariners after going into receivership last year, having been rescued in a package put together by the then-Vice Chairman Bryan Huxford. The arrangement does allow the club to charge £35 for a shirt - around ten pounds less than other teams, a fact that Jim was quick to recognise benefited the fans.

"With this tie-up they've got with Avec they can offer the fans a cheaper deal and everyone will benefit, it just depends on how often it comes out. The strip thing is every club and not just Town, and they are only keeping up with everybody else."

"I think ordinary fans will buy it no matter what and they won't think of it as a rip-off. They'll just want the latest shirt."

In reply, Steve Wraith Grimsby's accounts manager, stated that there would be more complaints if a new strip was not brought out saying: "Every year Grimsby Town have to look at that and if we didn't bring out a new strip we'd have more complaints than if we stuck with the old one. It becomes a historical thing that we bring one out each year."

"But, with the new prices we have the cheapest shirts in the first division, £35.00 is a long way below the average of £45. We are trying to cut out the middle-man and pass our savings on to the fans."

"A lot of clubs go for pre-determined deals where they get X amount of free kits and then have to stick the price of the shirt up. In previous years we've had £20,000 of kit free for the players and staff for training and the like. Then the kit suppliers put the money on the cost of the shirt. That hasn't happened this year and we can pass that on to the supporters with massively reduced kits."

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