Arsenal are clearly going hell for leather to make us buy the new Ribena shirt. This morning I got a beautifully crafted, mock-oldendays brochure, extolling the virtues of the new one-season-shirt. The new shirt, we are told, uses the “original colourway” (answers on a postcard), and to keep it as 1913-authentic as possible, it will be “adorned” with “stylish gold for the sponsor’s branding, players’ names and squad numbers”, and made, as they were in the first part of the twentieth century, “from the latest ‘breathable’ lightweight sports fabric”.
And finally, to cement the feeling that it’s right out of the 1913 brochure, it’s just 40 modern pounds sterling, which, if a shirt cost that in 1913, would now cost, using the retail price index and adding the usual inflationary gubbins, £2,405.74p.
I am of course now talking completely out of my arse.
Besides, scrape off the veneer of cynicism and you’ll find someone who, despite early reservations, now actually quite likes the new shirt. I will of course be buying one, to wear perhaps three times before putting it in the cupboard with the rest of my thrice-worn shirts. Who knows, in 2113, it might well be worth something.
So yes, despite it not being our proper colour, and despite it costing a lot for what is, essentially, a £5 shirt made somewhere like Indonesia and sold here for £40, and despite it being a one-season wonder, I’ll be having one please thanks. But I point-blank refuse to pay £40 for one, so any advice as to where I can get it for a more reasonable price – for an authentic one – would be most gratefully received.