The FAI are today reeling from the back lash they’ve received from Republic of Ireland fans following the announcement of Castore as their new kit suppliers.

Irish Celtic fans are especially aggrieved by the decision to sign a deal with the Manchester based kit manufacturer.

As we are all well aware, Castore are the main kit supplier for the Ibrox club.

Mark Runnacles/Getty Images Sport

They began their supply to them in the 2020/21 Covid season.

All Celtic fans are acutely aware of the outcome of that season and this is probably why this particular decision cuts closer to the bone than normal.

We can all recall the farcical early days of the Castore/Ibrox collaboration, where the sportswear firm used manufacturers from all over to meet the demand for jerseys and other apparel.

The quality of the products supplied was questionable, to put it mildly.

Crests fell off jersey, designs differed from one kit to the next and even training tops used as part of school uniforms had the Ibrox club’s logo attached to them.

Sub-standard quality products were then charged at extortionate prices.

The whole venture once again made the Ibrox club a laughing stock.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Sport

I’m aware the company has obviously used the finance generated through their initial collaboration with the Ibrox club to form partnerships with other big clubs.

They now supply kits to Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

They also have a high profile deal to supply team apparel to the McLaren F1 team.

However, their early collaboration with the Ibrox side and continued partnership with them is what’s left Irish football fans with a bad taste in their mouths.

This is beginning to look like a serious Own Goal for the FAI, who yesterday had to delete a tweet announcing the new kit deal, amid severe criticism from Republic of Ireland fans.

The kit is due to be available at the end of this month.

Whether the FAI will reconsider their decision remains to be seen.

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Sport

Most Irish fans would have preferred to have seen traditional Irish Sporting goods brand, O’Neill’s, being given the contract to supply the Republic.

Traditionally suppliers to mainly G.A.A. club and county sides, in recent years O’Neill’s began to branch into supplying their kits to football clubs playing in the League of Ireland.

Their popularity has grown and they now supply their kits to Wycombe Wanderers in England and most recently, Partick Thistle in the Scottish Championship.

It would have made perfect sense for the National team to partner with O’ Neill’s, but they instead chose Castore.

As a result, the FAI may find themselves disappointed with sales in Castore products due to the attitude towards the brand from Irish fans, especially the large contingent of Celtic fans.

Glasgow based Celtic fans can regularly be seen wearing the Ireland kit, but you can be pretty sure they will NOT don the Castore kit, should the FAI continue down this path.

Giving money to the company that supplies the Ibrox club’s jerseys is unlikely to sit well with most Celtic supporters.

Below is the original twitter feed with the announcement from the FAI, you’ll be hard pressed to find any positive comments in there: