Date: 27th May 2007 at 1:28am
Written by:

Birmingham’s new home kit was unveiled to the inevitable mixed reaction from fans.

It had been a pretty appallingly kept secret that the famous Penguin kit was returning, but the first available photographs confirmed the rumours.

New signing Fabrice Muamba was chosen to model an updated version of what has probably been one of Birmingham City’s most famous kits.

The penguin has indeed returned and the base colour of the kit has reverted to royal blue, rather than the slightly paler version that has been favoured over the last few years. This has been welcomed heartily by those who felt that the recent kits have not hit the mark.

The principal criticisms of the design seem to be the size of the sponsor’s logo and the size/placement of the club badge.

The club badge has not been centrally placed on the shirt since the 2001-2 season.

New kit sponsors F&C Investments’ device seems large and intrusive, but in truth is no larger than some existing names seen emblazoned on players’ chests already.

However, the original penguin kit was from an era prior to shirt sponsorship and the only adornment to the front panel was the club badge which in those days was in the ‘Glasgow Rangers’ style.

This produced a clean-looking design which was loved by the fans in a period when Blues were enjoying promotion and several years in Division One.

The inclusion of both these logos on the white central panel of the shirt do lend it a more cluttered look but sponsors’ logos have become a completely necessarily evil in the days of big money football.

The purists have pointed out that Birmingham are the Blues and not the Blue and Whites, but a return to this style could be a good marketing ploy for a number of reasons.

Many people of an age old enough to remember the original penguin kit (rather than the ‘revival’ version from 10 years ago) have a great affection for it and associate it was a high-quality squad and some great memories.

Next season also brings Umbro back to making kits for Birmingham City and they were the manufacturers of the 1970s classic.

The renewed use of a ‘true’ royal blue is also likely to please many fans and may have them reaching for their credit cards before the start of next season.