Hooped Barcelona kit outsells Old Firm shirts in Glasgow
But controversial tops with horizontal stripes will only last one season and Barca could ditch sponsor
Barcelona's controversial new hooped kit is outselling Rangers and Celtic shirts in Glasgow, it has emerged.
The Scottish Daily Record reported last weekend that the European champions, who won a the Spanish league, cup and Champions League are now "more popular among young Scottish fans than Celtic and Rangers combined".
The paper spoke to sports shops in Glasgow who said they were close to selling out of the Barca tops. "Retailers have been forced to reorder within days and stores say sales and pre-orders are up 130 per cent on last year," it said.
Both Celtic, who have signed up with manufacturers New Balance, and Rangers have new kits out this summer but they are not as popular with Glaswegians as the Catalan giants.
"We've sold a couple of hundred jerseys, easily more than the Old Firm combined," said Miller Greaves, director of Greaves Sports in Glasgow.
However, the new Barca shirts may prove to be something of a flash in the pan. The Barcelona shirt has such historic significance in Catalonia that the new design, pushed through by Nike, was regarded by many as "blasphemous" and it now seems as though the horizontal stripes will only last one season, no matter how popular they are in Glasgow.
The political turmoil caused by presidential elections at the Camp Nou has prompted Nike to push through next season's kit design earlier than usual and Spanish newspaper Sport, reports: "The big news is that the shirt will lose the horizontal stripes, returning, once again, to vertical stripes.
"It's evident that the recent treble has facilitated a necessary return to a more classic design, rather than feeding the need to force a more aggressive one," says the paper.
The presence of a sponsor on the Barca shirt is also controversial. The kit was plain until 2006, and for the five years after that the club bore the logo of charity Unicef on their shirts. A corporate sponsor was not approved until 2011, when Qatar agreed a £150m deal.
Sponsorship has become an issue in the upcoming elections, and Joan Laporta, who held the top job at Barcelona between 2003 and 2010, has pledged not to renew the deal with current sponsor Qatar Airways and return Unicef to the tops.
"Having money is important but it is not everything in the world. Principles come before money," he said, reports The Guardian.