Update: we are fake news - this piece was done for April Fool’s, so isn’t true.
Just two days after competing on the pitch, reports suggest Reading and QPR could be recommencing battle in the courts over the right to wear blue and white hooped shirts.
Fans from both clubs have long argued that their clubs are the real hoops, whilst accusing the other of being fake hoops. Now it looks like this debate has taken an unlikely turn that could settle the argument once and for all.
This morning it was reported that QPR have lodged a complaint to the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office about Reading wearing blue and white hoops as their home colours.
QPR claim that the two clubs wearing the same home kit had not been a problem until the mid 2000s. Since Reading’s rise to 8th in the Premier League in 2007, the London based club claim people outside the UK increasingly associate the kit with The Royals. This has allegedly harmed QPR’s brand and image.
Interestingly the reports suggest that Reading plan to argue that QPR wearing a similar kit has stopped them from realising their true potential. Fans over 35 still associate the kit more with Rangers, while the Loftus Road side’s ill judged attempt to turn themselves into a glamour club in the early 2010s has meant Reading are sometimes brushed with the same image of mismanagement and delusions of grandeur.
Given our current season, Reading fans will probably feel that pushing the mismanagement argument may be ill-advised.
Perhaps oddly the reports don’t mention the historical arguments for each club’s claim to be the real hoops. Reading’s rest on their first ever kit in 1871 being blue and white hoops. By contrast QPR would not come into existence until 1882 and not wear blue and white hoops until 1926.
Since 1926 QPR have only had six seasons when they have not worn their current home kit. That means they have had blue and white hoops as their home kit for 86 years.
By contrast Reading have had multiple spells of wearing non-hooped kits. Whilst their current home kit has been consistent for the last 26 years, in total they have only been wearing blue and white hoops for 65 years.
You can find details of both club’s kits at the excellent Historical Football Kits website.
Whether this argument will finally be resolved by the EU’s Intellectual Property Office remains to be seen.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will be just to settle this before the UK leaves the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019. We at The Tilehurst End expect this argument to rumble on for a while.