Home & Away players shirt
Years worn: 1979-82
In this shirt (Small Umbro logo and big Hitachi logo) Liverpool first play in away
friendly match v Borussia Moenchengladbach, 4-2, 1 August 1979, at Bokelberg.
Exeter City, 28 October 1981, whan Liverpool used yellow shirt with Hitachi
In what matches Liverpool played in shirts with a club sponsor logo Hitachi and in
what is not present, I now do not know. But, most likely this teleimage and an
interdiction of FA Association or UEFA on uses of advertising on shirts during television
display of matches. It concerns the size with a club sponsor logo Hitachi which was two
variants. What for the first time was on shirts, I till last year (2010) have been
assured, that the big sponsor logo. But there was Alan Hansen's photo (sponsor logo Hitach
with big Umbro logo) and it is necessary to establish date of this match.
"Hitachi" - logo on Liverpool FC shirts
Information on the Hitachi Shirts
The Hitachi Shirt was never sold in a short sleeve replica version, The only
replica versions you could buy were long sleeve, and most that have survived the last 20
odd years are child sizes, Anything larger than 36" are like hens teeth and command
high prices, Players shirts are even rarer, the only one ive seen in 2 years of collecting
Liverpool shirts is the one ive managed to recently obtain.
As you can see from close inspection of the shirts in the two images below the size
of the 'hitachi' lettering changed from game to game, The Hitachi lettering on the image
on the left is much narrower and smaller than on the shirt in the second image, If you
look closely you can see the whole word is not wider than the umbro badge and liver bird
on the shirt in image 1, However the word 'Hitachi' is a lot wider and taller on the shirt
in the second image, The first shirt worn by Liverpool displaying the Hitachi logo in the
79-80 season displayed the longer/larger Hitachi logo, this was used for the whole season
where permitted, However in the following 80/81 season the smaller Hitachi logo was
allowed for some televised games after the sponsorship laws were changed, From then on
until the end of this Hitachi sponsored shirts life in 1982 the shirt was changed from
week to week between the smaller and larger Hitachi logo depending on whether the game was
televised or the rules of the footballing authority of the time.
In the main this was due to advertising laws of the time, There were laws put in
place by the football league allowing the sponsors brand to be a maximum size on the shirt
for televised games, And then when Liverpool were playing in a game that was not being
televised the 'Hitachi' logo could be larger on the front of the shirt.
The Story of Liverpool's sponsorship deal with
Liverpool so often pioneers claimed another distinction by becoming the first
football league club to announce they would be carrying a brand name on the players shirts
during the 1979-80 season.
The League champions took a giant stride towards what they hope will be a new
frontier by agreeing a one year deal with Japanese electrical firm Hitachi, under which
their brand name is featured in a 2.5 inch strip across the front of the famous red
And Liverpool's ultimate aim is to obtain massive injections of cash into football
by changing current regulations which do not permit shirt advertising in televised
matches, FA Cup ties or European games.
"We are talking about an industry that is desperately short of money and we
are fighting for our existence" said John Smith at a press conference to announce the
Hitachi deal, "In terms of commerce and industry we, at Liverpool, are broke but in
football terms we are wealthy. "From a turnover of J2.4 million last year,
Liverpool's profit at the end of the day was a meager J71.000...this is for one of the
leading clubs in Europe.
"The overheads in our game are colossal and we have got to generate more
remunerative activity off the field. The days are gone when a club like ours can control
their destiny on the money coming through the turnstiles"...."I think other
clubs will follow our lead. We are taking up the cudgels and I believe we will see the day
when shirt advertising is allowed in televised games and in UEFA Competitions.
Only two European countries- England and Italy - outlaw TV shirt advertising but if
that ban was lifted clubs could collect J250,000 a season and upwards in common with their
The deal with Hitachi - which also includes match sponsorship and limited ground
advertising - was agreed by Liverpool after two years of unsuccessful negotiations with
British companies both in the private and public sectors.
Liverpool players wore the new look strip for the first time in the pre-season
friendly against Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany....and won 4-2.
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Liverpool sign deal with Hitachi
Television will be on Liverpool next season. The League champions have decided to
wear shirt advertising and the sponsor will be Japanese TV and electronics giant Hitachi.
That’s the name Anfield old-boy Kevin Keegan wears on his Hamburg shirt in Germany,
And the shock behind this pioneering move by Liverpool – most successful club in the
League – is that they claim they are doing it to stay alive.
“We are fighting for our existence,” was yesterday’s staggering comment from
chairman John Smith, as he announced a one-year, J50,000 deal with Hitachi.
The money may not seem a lot at this stage, but Liverpool are hoping it will be a
trail-blazer. The aim to challenge regulations which ban shirt advertising in televised
matches, FA Cup ties and European games.
Quoting figures that emphasise the grim financial position in football, Smith
“From a turnover of J2-4 million last year, Liverpool’s profit at the end
of the day was a meagre J71,000 … this for one of the leading clubs in Europe.
“It shows the paucity of money in British football. Our neighbours, Everton, for
instance, made a profit of J2,000 last year and the year before their figures was just
J184. And only a handful of clubs make a profit at all.
“The days are gone when a club like ours could control their destiny on the money
coming through the turnstiles. It is absolutely essential to generate income from other
“We have agreed to this deal to help safeguard the long-term financial interest
of the club.”
Liverpool expect to get League and F.A. permission for their Hitachi emblems within
the next few days.
(Daily Express, 25-07-1979)
|| Phil Thompson
and model Teri Byrne parading the new shirt sponsor at Anfield in the summer of 1979
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