Monday Match of The Day – Brentford v Birmingham City, March 20, 1993
- Once again, Andy Tudor provided invaluable assistance, as did Brentford Shirts
At first glance, there might not appear too much remarkable about the kit match-up of two familiar colour-schemes like these, but of course there is more to it if you scratch beneath the surface.
Birmingham City began 1992-93 wearing kits made by Influence, which was owned by the Kumar family, who also controlled the club. In terms of rebrands, the infamous ‘paintbox’ kit, socks trimmed with the Indian flag colours and a multi-coloured crest for the first time was a prime example of what not to do.
Financial problems forced the club into administration, with the Kumars departing. A seven-game winless run in January, February and March was a pathetic fallacy of sorts but in March, David Gold and David Sullivan became the new owners and appointed Karren Brady as managing director.
Not wanting the team running around in an un-Birmingham-like kit made by Influence, the new regime introduced a plainer blue and white kit. The launch was covered by the local news with the type of report that might not be approved nowadays (and we don’t mean referring to a kit of blue shirts and yellow shorts as “traditional”).
While there had been a Chelsea-like blue-blue-white look in the mid-1960s, the club hadn’t gone with all-blue as its default before 1992-93.
The new strip didn’t have a manufacturer’s logo, presumably for contractual reasons, but it’s believed to have been made by Admiral, who officially came on board for the 1993-94 season.
Earlier in the season, Birmingham had had to mash up their home strip with the all-white away and the Brentford match stands out for the fact that the white Influence shorts were called on for what proved to be the final time.
The Bees – in the second tier for the first time since the mid-1950s – were in the first of what would prove to be a three-year partnership with Hummel, a nice if unspectacular strip. Dutch airline KLM first sponsored the club in 1984 and would remain until 1995 – for four years of that period, they also sponsored Queens Park Rangers.
A pair of goals from Paul Peschisolido – Brady’s future husband – gave Birmingham the win, the second of three straight victories as they avoided relegation.
Unfortunately for them, it was a stay of execution of just a year as they went down in 1993-94, though bouncing straight back the following season. For Brentford, 1992-93 was a campaign of disappointment as they were relegated, just a point off safety. It would take until 2014 for them to make it back to that level/