Arsenal revealed their new away kit for next season yesterday. It combines both purple and black in a hooped pattern, and it's very different from previous Arsenal kits.
I'm a big fan of the classic yellow and blue away kit for Arsenal, but the new kit has got something to it. It goes on sale on pre order today, and I have a feeling it will be a big hit with Arsenal fans.
A few years back Arsenal confirmed that they would only release one new kit every year, but in recent seasons the home and away shirts have changed annually. There have been good reasons for the changes such as the last season at Highbury, and the 125th anniversary of the founding of the club.
It will be interesting to see if there are any changes to either strip next season. I can't imagine the club will let the start to a new season go by without bringing out at least one new kit.
The real expense in all of this falls on the long suffering fans who are expected to buy the shirts. There is obviously no obligation on them, but fans invariably want the latest shirt from their club.
It looks like Arsenal fans will get plenty of opportunities to see their players in the new away strip too. With so many of their away games on TV it means Arsenal will have to wear the away strip on any occasion which it clashes with the opposition's home colours. I think Arsenal will get to wear the new strip in five of those first seven league games that have been scheduled to shown live on TV.
Obviously the more the strip is shown the more likely it is for Arsenal fans to buy it. It's certainly a big change from previous strips worn by Arsenal, and it's not as if fans can wear an older one which looks similar.
As a lifelong fan of Arsenal I would be only too glad to buy every single shirt I can afford if it meant a little bit of glory returning to the club. Since the arrival of sugar daddies with their billions of oil money the balance of power has shifted in English football.
Both Chelsea and Manchester City have seemingly bottomless pits of money to draw on, and it makes it very hard for other teams to compete with them in the transfer market. Manchester United still continue to challenge them mainly due to their huge money earning capacity, but how long can that continue. Arsenal have done very well to stay in touch, but the lack of trophies is a real burden for some fans.
It could be a lot worse though, and the current status of Liverpool shows exactly how bad it could be. Despite winning the Carling Cup last season Liverpool only managed to finish eighth in the Premier League. Yet again next season they will get to play their European football on a Thursday night in the Europa League.
It's a prospect Arsenal have never had to face under Arsene Wenger, but they have come very close to missing out on the Champions League on a few occasions. The upcoming season could be a real challenge for them with the likely departure of Robin van Persie. His goals will be missed, and others will have to step up to the plate in his absence.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.