As is fast becoming an annual tradition, Catalan newspaper Diario Sport leaked the designs for what will likely become next season’s FC Barcelona kits last night, with Renato bringing you the update this afternoon. While every "scoop" Sport claim to have on the latest transfer rumours is usually garbage and not worth your attention, they have carved out a niche as one of the few outlets to actually have a reliable source within Nike, whereby they can release designs for jerseys well ahead of their official announcement.
Now, if we’re being cynical it’s probably all engineered by Nike themselves to gauge the market; how will fans respond to the new designs now that they’ve been plastered over the front page? And more importantly, what will this mean for our future sales?
It’s safe to say that the design for the current season’s jerseys was met with a mixed reaction. Some praised Nike’s bold decision to feature a hooped pattern for the first time on a Blaugrana jersey. Almost everyone else found the whole idea abhorrent and an affront to the 100+ year history of the club.
As a consequence, it has been rumoured that sales of the 2015/16 FC Barcelona shirt have been down in comparison to recent years, at least with respect to the new hooped home shirt. Reaction to the Senyera inspired away jersey and the midnight blue third jersey has been far more favourable, and I myself have been drawn into purchasing the third jersey adorned with Andres Iniesta’s name and number.
Anyway, I’m digressing; last year Sport leaked the designs for these jerseys and were spot on, so let’s take a closer look at what Nike reportedly have in store for us next season:
Long live the vertical stripes. After taking a one year hiatus, the vertical stripes are set to make a glorious return next year and you know what they say about how absence makes the heart grow fonder.
There’s something about seeing FC Barcelona playing in hoops that will never feel right. As time has progressed this season, we’ve kind of gotten more accustomed to it, but we also get accustomed to the harsh cold of winter – that doesn’t mean we like it. Now with the stripes back the right way up, it feels like we’re closer to getting our identity back. If only we could find a better sponsor…
Whatever, it’s a vintage design and one that raises a brilliant question: where does this rank in the all-time greatest looking Barca jerseys, and which one is your all-time favourite? Let us know in the Google poll:
Maybe this is just me, but I’m not a huge fan of those bars of colour that are on the shoulders. Then again, it does score points for not having a collar, which sadly detracts from the home design – I’ve owned a few jerseys with collars, and they never work out as well as the pictures because they aren’t made with the right material to serve as a proper collar. Alright, maybe I’m being a little too critical here.
The colour of this one isn’t exactly thrilling, but it is a choice with good connotations – remember the third jersey in 2010/11 when we won our fourth UEFA Champions League title? Just discard any memories you have of the likes of Dmytro Chygrynskiy wearing the shirt and you’ll get along with this design just fine.
One again, the third jersey is my favourite of the bunch. I am a proud owner of a luminous yellow Xavi jersey from last season’s treble-winning campaign, and I’m hoping that Iniesta’s jersey can bring me similar joy this year. A purple design is bold, and it may not resonate with every Cule out there but it certainly sits well with me.
All in all, a solid effort from Nike, surely an improvement on this season, right?
NB: Sources on Twitter claim that the colours are right, but the designs are wrong and subject to change. Only time will tell, but as long as we don't see hoops, all is well with me