The drink that changed football

Now it seems normal to us that a commercial brand appears on the team shirts,
but until 1973 no team sported advertising on their kit. It all started in Germany. The directive of
Eintracht Brunswick reached an agreement with the liquor brand in the area to advertise on their t-shirts, the drink is the well-known Jagërmeister, a distillate of 56 herbs with a high alcohol content.

There was obviously a lot of debate within the Lower Saxony club about what some called 'sacrilege'. In view of the commotion, the board decided to put it to a vote, the publicity won, 125 votes in favor to 7 against.

They let themselves be seduced by the lifeline that this unexpected source of income, unknown to date, represented, and the only possibility that the club had to survive. It certainly influenced that two years earlier, in 1971, the club had been sanctioned for match-fixing and now they were practically bankrupt.

The appearance of the deer mark saved Los Leones, as they are known.

The first sponsorship contract was valued at 100,000 DM, at the exchange rate 28,000 euros. The club had difficulties with the German Football Association (DFB), which was initially suspicious of the unknown situation, but finally allowed the agreement.

In this way, football discovered what in Spain was called 'atypical income', which were those that did not come from ticket sales or pools.

The sponsorship contract allowed Eintracht to sign Paul Breitner back to Germany in the 1977-78 season, who was playing for Real Madrid.

Curious that a footballer with leftist ideas, a Maoist communist, signed for the club that started the capitalist revolution in football. Green things!

Before Breitner's repatriation, in the 1973/74 season, several clubs followed in the footsteps of Eintracht Brunswick and signed sponsorship deals: Hamburger SV with Campari, Eintracht Frankfurt with Remington, Fortuna Düsseldorf with Allkauf, and Duisburg with Brian Scott. .

The almighty Bayern Munich, for its part, expanded the size of the name of its luggage brand, a T-shirt that became an Adidas banner. Blood red with Adidas on the chest.

In England the matter was a little more complicated.

In 1976, a modest club, Kettering Town FC, from the seventh division, reached an agreement with the local tire firm Kettering Tires and wore their name on their chest for several games.

The English Federation, notified of the matter, ordered them to withdraw it. The club defended itself by stating that their shirts featured 'Kettering T' and that the T stood for Town, the name of the club.

The photographs of the chronicles of the matches left no room for doubt, Tires and not T, simply, as the leaders tried to make us believe, is what appeared on the shirts.

The English Federation did not back down and sanctioned the team with 1,000 pounds, which withdrew the advertising from its shirts to avoid being sanctioned again and having problems with the Federation. But, forever, they will be the pioneers.

Three years later, in 1979, Liverpool FC wore the first of its sponsors, Hitachi, on its shirts, and although they were not the first, it had a great impact, all the teams followed in its wake, it was a source of income that they could resign if they wanted to compete with those at Anfield Road.

In Spain, the first team to wear advertising on their shirts was Racing de Santander in the 1981/82 season. He appeared at the Santiago Bernabéu on December 27, 1981, with his sponsor Teka on his chest.

Interestingly, Teka, from the 1992/93 season, would be a sponsor of Real Madrid for many years.

Although it was really the competition that made its debut in the chest of the merengues players, Zanussi, in the 1983/84 season.

Zanussi advertising was also present on the merengue team's training clothes. One day Alfredo Di Stefano, coach of Real Madrid, wanted to call Juanito's attention in a very particular way during a training session.

In the coach's opinion, Juanito was not trying hard enough, and Di Stefano yelled at him:

«-Ché Juan, does the washing machine weigh you or what?».

Celtic and desecration

Those who had a hard time putting anything on the shirt were the Scotsmen from Celtic in Glasgow, green and white with horizontal stripes, in memory of their connection with Ireland.

Celtic was the first British champion of the European Cup, in the 1967 edition, and they did it without a number on their back, only on their pants, that's how they also won the Intercontinental.

The absence of a number on the shirt was due to the belief that it stained it, so to identify themselves they wore the number on the pants -front and back-.

They had been playing like this since its foundation in 1887.

This tradition was maintained until 1975, the year in which UEFA forced the number to be worn on the shirt to participate in European competitions.

The Scottish FA maintained the permit in domestic competition, but in 1994, a referee showed a player a yellow card, and another number was recorded on the minutes.

Asked about it, he replied that by not wearing the visible numbers on the shirt he had been confused.

That referee's error led the Scottish FA to enter the matter fully, modified the rule and forced all teams to insert the number on the shirt.

There was quite a stir, but the Federation remained adamant and Celtic had to give up their numberless shirt tradition, but not before challenging the Federation on their decision.

The Catholics were trilling with this decision. They pulled mischief to further stretch the tradition.

In the first game, with the rule in force,
Celtic presented itself with the number on the shirt complying with the norm, but with a nuance, it was on the sleeve and not on the back.

Celtic applied, literally, the legal text "the player's number must be printed on the shirt". And there it was!

The leaders of the Scottish FA, seeing the loophole that Celtic had sought, were forced to specify.

For the next game, he specified the rule, "the number must be on the back", and Celtic had no escape, they had to stain their shirt with the number of each player.

You see, for the directors of Eintracht Brunswick putting the drawing of the deer was the
salvation.

But for Celtic Glasgow to print the numbers on their verdiblanca shirt, a
desecration.

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