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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Jam tarts kit disaster

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I have just returned from a visit to Scotland and there has been much attention given in the media to the new away kit for Hearts.   Indeed, it has even been blamed for their early exit from the Europa League.

This pink and yellow striped concotion is meant to be a tribute to former prime minister Earl of Roseberry who was president of the Jam Tarts in 1894-5.   Needless to say, they are his racing colours. Who was it who thought this would be a good marketing ploy?   But perhaps any publicity is good publicity.

A fan of a rival club has commented, 'They didn't actually wear it in Europe but from a football economy point of view it shows the downside of changing kits so frequently - the designers run out of ideas. Oddly enough, over the years I have been able to correlate decent kits with successful teams and awful kits with teams who haven't done so well. I think there might be something in it.'

Mind you, we did have a green and purple third kit at Charlton many years ago.   It was so hideous that I have kept it.

While we are on the subject of marketing, the leading league in the Orkney Islands is the Cheese League, sponsored by the famous Orkney Cheddar Cheese which is a protected 'geographical indication'.  

The season starts in April and finishes with the Parish Cup on Saturday week.   In the year of the underdog, Rendell, a scattered farming parish with 100 inhabitants have reached the final.   In the league, Isles United are bottom with no points, having scored just eight goals.

The Orkney flag above is based on the Norwegian flag and is a means of demonstrating that the Orcadians are not Scottish.   They were part of Norway until mediaeval times and were then given away to Scotland as part of a wedding dowry.