Birmingham players will be booted but not suited at Carling Cup final

25 February 2011 10:32
After waiting 55 years to appear in a major Wembley final, Birmingham City fans might have expected the club's preparations for Sunday's Carling Cup showpiece to have been handled with meticulous care.

But Sportsmail can reveal that because of an embarrassing breakdown in communications, Alex McLeish and his players will travel without an essential piece of kit - the Cup final suit.

Tradition dictates that Cup finalists take a pre-match stroll across the Wembley turf in specially tailored suits, and Birmingham had struck a deal with retailers Harvey Nichols for ?9,000-worth of outfits for players and managerial staff.

Disgruntled: McLeish's will travel without a specially designed suit for the Cup final

But a mix-up over the colour of the suits meant the designers were unable to complete the order in time to produce them for the game against Arsenal, leaving McLeish and his players dismayed.

The players had asked for suits which complemented the club's official ties, which are a mixture of navy blue, sky blue and white.

When they were told those colours were not available, they agonised over whether to accept alternatives. By the time they had made their minds up, it was too late to have anything.

Delirium: City players celebrate victory in the Carling Cup semi-final

So the players will make do with their regular club suits, although Harvey Nichols will still provide new ties and shoes.

A source said: 'There was a bit of dilly-dallying by the players but it has since got a bit messy. However, we understand Alex has sorted out any confusion. It's not going to detract from the day.'

It is not the first time Birmingham have become embroiled in controversy over their clothing for a showpiece Wembley occasion.

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Source: Daily_Mail