There are a number of starkly important matters when one - or many, in the case of Roma - sets about turning over a football club. Directors of sport and Dudes Who Quote Literary Classics are eminently important, and have been solved with the additions of Sirs Sabatini & Baldini. Eenie meenie. A new mister is up there as well; one who can offer and nurture the philosophy desired by the new ownership. Roma is currently on try number two - indeed, first is the worst, second is the best it seems. We can only hope Zeman's successor is a male, or else there's gonna be an inquisition. Players needing to be turned over, done so through the lens of the coach, is an obvious necessity as well. However, nothing will touch the lives of the fans more than their choice for the next kit manufacturer.
You know - because everyone's more likely to run their fingers through a Totti 10 on the rack than through Francesco's closely cropped mane whilst feeding him grapes on a down comforter made of unicorn fur and clouds.
As I'm probably CdT's unofficial style consultant, it is my job to bemoan the loss of Kappa, bemoan the state of kits in football in general, and offer up my thoughts. Getting rid of Kappa was stupid from an aesthetic perspective, as these have been the best kits in years - the black third is phenomenal - but everyone who's anyone who knows a guy at the thing at the place knows it was a business decision. And football in general has advanced to a state of regression, garnering more money to make less aesthetic kits for the sake of...I don't know. It's just worse. There's nothing to back that up, but football is just...worse. As for me, I have three simple general rules: go Italian for formal, go Belgian for casual, go birthday for real casual. Sadly, all three cost the same exorbitant amount of money, as legal fees can get quite expensive when your definition of 'real casual' is 'Tuesday.' With equal amounts of sorrow, Roma's unlikely to follow this route. My dreams of seeing Roma outfitted by alternating on/off-pitch lines of Dolce&Gabbana suit kits and Walter Van Beirendonck uniformal wear are fraught with nothing but inevitable disappointment and crinkled piles of sketch paper near the trash.
Roma's rule? "Fire" the kit manufacturer after they've turned out the best line in years and then bring in Philipp Plein to make Ed Hardy and Hello Kitty seem more preferable alternatives for team styling. In short, there exists no faith in their ability to make a decent choice. Alas, they must, because neither Blogistuta nor I have yet to receive a phone call.
So this brings to light a very important consideration: the potential suiters. Or suitors. Or whatever. Kit manufacturer. We know that Kappa's out, while we also can guess educatedly (yup) that brand exposure and expansion will be at the top of the list for the foreseeable future. In short: they want to be seen, and they don't care how they look. In some respects, this is akin to a high profile relationship for a burgeoning actress with the pretty face and marginal talent. Hopping into bed with an A-list celebrity is the easiest way for a C-list talent to get to the top in a jiffy, and Roma is looking for that quick ride. So to make it all work, they'll want to slither between the sheets with the big boys: Nike (George), Adidas (Brad) and of course, the most beautiful of them all - Puma (Steve Buscemi). Fashion second, fashionable friends first.
So, your suitors.
The Big Boys
This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the brand that will get my wager, and for one simple reason: James Pallotta. His relationship with Adidas through the Boston Celtics is a rather easy cherry-pick, if you will, as Adidas is one of the two brands which seem to have the most exposure. A number of mockups have arisen, this with Volkswagen as the sponsor, and they look like Luis Enrique, Bojan and Jose Angel will be making a triumphant return. So it's cheap for Adidas too: tweak some La Furia Roja irregulars in the warehouse and boom, you're done.
Adidas designs are rather simple: often solid, traditional designs for the standard kits, minimal accents, three strip branding down the arm, and then a little more fanciful as they go down the line to the 3rd kit. See: Chelsea's first and Chelsea's third, along with Bayern's home and CL strips. They're simple. It's hard to mess up simple.