Football: That was the weekend that was: Pick your own colours, Ipswich tell their fans

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EVERYBODY GRUMBLES about the price of replica football kits, commonly perceived the No 1 rip-off perpetrated by football clubs on the sad, compliant, captive audience known as fans. But one set of supporters can boast a small concession.

These lucky punters know that, when they pay through the nose for next season's new strip, they will at least have had a say in how it looks.

The idea comes from Ipswich Town, whose chairman, David Sheepshanks, said it was "important we take account of our fans' views." Town's novel approach involves supporters voting on a choice of four strip designs, unveiled in Saturday's matchday programme at Portman Road as well as in the local press and on the club's official website. Fans have until 3 March to cast their votes.

"Our supporters represent the essence of our club," Sheepshanks said. "If we are to continue enjoying record sales for Ipswich Town replica kits, then it is imperative we adopt a responsible attitude."

The choices, it has to be said, are not terribly imaginative. Fans can vote for (a) blue top with white shorts, (b) blue top and shorts with white flashes, (c) white trimmed blue top teamed with blue-trimmed white shorts or (d) blue top with white sleeves and white shorts.

Then again, Ipswich are a proudly traditional club, a point emphasised by their spokesperson, Alesha Gooderham. "Those are the colours we know the supporters are proud to wear," she said.