Saturday, 5 June 2010

Charlton Tell Kids To Give Colourful Shoes The Boot

Charlton Athletic Football Club, who lost to Swindon in the League One play-off semi finals this season, have banned their youth teams from wearing coloured boots.

The ban has been introduced to increase the levels of professionalism and discipline within the youth squads, with the hope that they will carry the ideas into the first team and future of the club. Similar rules are in place at clubs such as Manchester United and Nottingham Forest, but is it really worth it?

If the club does want to have a professional and disciplined environment, I don't think that making the players wear only black or white boots is going to alter much. If a kid is wearing a pair of yellow or green boots, does it mean that they will be less professional than team mates wearing black boots? Or on the other side of the coin, will a player with confidence and arrogance play any different wearing black boots?

There are many other, and better ways to create a more professional atmosphere, they could bring back the days of when the youth players would clean the boots of the first team and have to wash the kits. They could be stricter on issues such as being late to training or answering back to referees.

Far too much attention is paid to the colour boots that players wear. There was uproar from many when Frank Ribery and Nicklas Bendtner took to the pitch in pink Nike boots.

If players are banned from wearing coloured boots, then there are many other ways in which players can make themselves stand out or be individual, from vibrant hair cuts to custom goal celebrations. Clubs should ask are these any more professional or disciplined than wearing coloured boots?

To me the banning of coloured boots seems like an old and outdated rule to have, which will have little impact on the professionalism and discipline of the teams unless other steps are taken.