Sunday, 22 February 2015

One small step for a local tyre outlet, one giant leap for big business...

So there is to be some kind of event next January to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the day when we were the first British club to wear a sponsor’s name on their shirts. Or, if you prefer, Bath City were the first club to play against a British team wearing sponsored shirts.
A cause for celebration? Well it is certainly one of the most quoted parts of our history, probably just behind the 39 days of Gazza in terms of what we are best known for. And I don’t suppose the approaching 10th anniversary of that affair will pop too many corks (though Gazza might have a go). And it is a good opportunity to get our name out there again.
But to tell the truth I’m a bit lukewarm about the shirt sponsorship trailblazers thing. True, it did change football in this country, but for the better?

I guess that depends on whether you are one of the many millionaire footballers or club owners who have been enriched by the vast sponsorship sums now floating around. Or if you like seeing classic kits disfigured by nasty looking logos for payday loan companies or airlines owned by Gulf states with dubious human rights records. 

Not forgetting that having opened the floodgates, we have spent most of the past 40 years scratching around trying to find a local firm willing to fork out a few grand on filling prime shirtfront advertising space – and never, funnily enough, the one local business who could afford a really good sponsorship wedge – a well known manufacturer of cereal biscuits made of wheat, except for that one occasion when we were live on Sky at Rockingham Road, and they couldn’t get a big advertising board up quick enough.    

I’m not sure how proud this all makes me feel about the KTFC association with shirt sponsorship – though my opinion would certainly warm if news of the anniversary reached the ears of the top Premiership clubs, maybe on the same day their latest £50 squillion five year deal is signed with Pyongyang Airways, and they are moved to recognise their debt to Kettering Town for making all this possible by each sending an enormous donation to Latimer Park.

Meanwhile we’d better get Bath lined up for a friendly just in case. 

It all started here, folks...

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