There’s been much gnashing of teeth since Saints revealed their new kit.

It’s from both ends of a spectrum - firstly people who think it is an abomination and secondly, those who think it is a necessary component of tapping into the millions of pounds sloshing about in the pockets of South East Asian football fans.

Even a cursory glance at Twitter or the Echo site shows impassioned opinions from both sides.

However, it seems to my eye that no matter what, the various issues around the new kit become entwined, twisted and confused – and invariably points missed and insults thrown.

To begin with, we can look at the kit from a purely aesthetic point of view. It’s an off-the-shelf design, which is something to be expected when signing up with a mass producer like Adidas, Nike or Umbro, so that’s not a surprise.

Adidas will have provided some designs which they are currently producing and match the specification outlined by the club and Saints will have chosen the one they like the most.

It’s not great that we have the same kit as Bristol City (and numerous Sunday League teams who will be able to buy the exact shame shirt for £18 rather than the £50 Saints are charging), but you pays your money and makes your choice.

I don’t particularly like the design, just as I didn’t like last year’s. I only seldom buy or even wear Saints shirts these days (I find they tend to get in the way of going to the pub on a night out after a match), so that’s no problem for me personally.

The design is not something I’m going to get angry over. Disappointed, yes, but I can counter that by not buying it, just the same as anyone else who doesn’t like it can - with the exception of those with kids, who face a different set of circumstances, I imagine.

However, the colour of the shirt won't impact how the team plays nor how I watch football, so ultimately, Saints wearing an all red kit doesn't matter in terms of how it will effect my day-to-day life.

What I don’t understand though, is why we have changed the kit so dramatically and this is the bigger issue as it casts doubt over what else is to come.

Football teams use kits to identify themselves. Stating the obvious, I know, but that’s the sole purpose of them. Over time, such is the emotional nature of fandom, supporters have become attached to what represents their team.

Since becoming Southampton FC in 1896, 11 years after the club was formed wearing sashes, Saints have played for seven seasons (1985-89, 2010-11, 2012-14) not wearing red and white stripes – that goes up to 12 if you don’t consider the Keegan-era kit (1980 – 85) to be stripes.

So with that in mind, it’s no wonder many are upset about stripes being ditched.

The counter-argument is that relatively few were bothered about it last year, or for the sash three years ago. That may be true, but a one-off is rather easy to stomach. Two in a row feels rather like the beginning of a more permanent change.

Suddenly, we’re not the club with stripes; we’re a club in all-red - but none of us know why.

If you don't care, then it doesn't matter. End of story. You need not worry.

However for those that do, no explanation for the change will ever be forthcoming, so they are left to deduce it for themselves.

For a start, anyone trying to argue it’s a better way to attract new fans in Asia is talking complete and utter nonsense. You attract new fans in far-off lands by being good on the pitch and having the high profile that comes from repeated success.

I don’t see Man City, Chelsea, Real Madrid or Barcelona rushing to change their kits, so you can discount that straight away - unless you actually believe Cardiff are suddenly massive in Malaysia just because they’re in red.

The nature of fan culture suggests it would not be a purely commercial decision - if you want a Saints shirt, you're not going to buy an Arsenal one just because it's got more red on it, so I doubt it's that.

Obviously it can’t be to improve the team as it is just coloured nylon – else we’d be seeing Sunday League teams in the top flight in no time.

It can only be for a reason of personal preference. Someone in a position of power at St. Mary’s prefers all red kits to red-and-white stripes. That’s the reason for the change. No more, no less.

I presume that person is Nicola Cortese, although it could plausibly be a member of the Liebherr family.

Either way, it makes no difference. If the powers-that-be at DMWSL 613 Ltd want to rebrand the club, be it as a team that only wears red or with a new badge, they could at least do us – the supporters – the courtesy of explaining why, rather than just foisting it upon us.

When Markus Liebherr took over, Cortese spoke of the owner and the chairman only being custodians of the club – the real owners were the fans.

In cold business terms, we all know that’s not true. We supporters also know that we were here long before and will be so long after the current regime have upped sticks.

Considering that, it would be nice to be listened to when the identity of the club we all love is being altered. Although it may seem trivial to some, it represents an awful lot to a large number of people.

You may shrug your shoulders at the change, but we each have a proverbial line in the sand where we start asking questions.

For you, it may be the change of kit, a new badge, £1,000 season tickets or even a relocation to Milton Keynes.

Whatever your limit is, don't think raising an eyebrow to something means you are any less of a fan, for daring to question your club. After all, it's only 12 years ago since we Saints fans forced the club to adopt the name St. Mary's - it was originally going to be just 'The Friends Provident Stadium'.

Modern football as a whole may treat fans with contempt, but that doesn't mean we should meekly allow our club to do things we don't like without at least explaining them to us.

After all, without those of us turning up each week, there wouldn't be much of a club in the first place - whether your consider yourself a fan or a customer.