"I am delighted that the FA has secured this new wide-ranging and comprehensive partnership with Nike"
Those the words of Alex Horne, the General Secretary of The F.A, on Monday where he was in-front of the cameras with Nike executives at the St.Georges park centre of excellence.
"I would also like to place on record our gratitude to Umbro and their significant contribution to the game, the FA and England teams, over a 60-year period" he added before refusing to divulge how much Nike had paid for the license to apply their 'swoosh' logo onto all team gear,the national stadium at Wembly and the centre of excellence.
Responses online and in the various media forums ranged from indifference to indination, some exclaiming that England's very identity was being sold away; others pointing out that Umbro had indeed been a subsidiary of Nike for 5 years. I myself found space for a little pang of sadness, if not suprise at this latest corporate amalgamation.
The fact is that the slow and steady monopolisation of Football has been unchallenged and/or ignored over the past 20 years. Football's wheels of industry don't allow the modern football fan alot of retrospective, they constantly cajolle and push us onto the next weekend/season/shirt launch.
But ask most football fans their last great world cup memory and most will recall France 1998. Delve a little deeper beyond the particular fixtures and results and from behind smiles they will reveal tales of particular kits, coloured boots and extrovert hairstyles.
The world cup in France 1998 also marked the point in which Nike and Adidas actioned their plans for global domination, and here we are 16 years later with a world of generic football shirts,wearing generic boots kicking a football which was made by a company that files tax receipts on a different continent.
I'm not naive, I know how any big business works - But allow me just this one moment to acknowlege, with a tinge of sadness, that tomorrow generation of football fans will probably have never heard of Umbro, Sondico, Asics,Hummel,Diadora or Mitre.
Maybe I'm just getting sentimental in my old age but wether you agree or not feel free to leave a comment or tweet me here.
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