Almost Weekly Blog 2 May

The new league kits are starting to appear and I have to say I think we are in for a vintage year of kit design.

chelsea-09-10Chelsea, Newcastles, Wolves and Leeds are among the big name teams who have unveiled their 09-10 designs and for me the Chelsea one is the pick of the bunch. The leaked pictures earlier in the year proved to be genuine and show the famous Chelsea blue in a stunning ‘cycle top’ style shirt.  The shirt features a neat collar with zip up neck and an interesting curved design across the chest (cruelly described by some as a ‘sports-bra’ housing the sponsors’ logo. The adidas three stripe trim has been segmented to leave space for the Premier League patch on each sleeve. Its just so different from anything else around and although it is very different from it, like the Umbro England kit it really shows a new generation of kit design thinking after years of reasonably stale creations.

Newcastle have returned to a more traditional arrangement of their iconic stripes after years of altering them and cutting them up with inserted panels of black or white. Its another good, clean design with just the right amount of detailed that doesn’t detract from the overall effect.

Le Coq Sportif’s new Wolves outfit shows a return of a single primary colour for the club shirt with just the right amount of contrasting trim. I think too many kits lately have been shoe-horning in a second colour in the form of additional side, sleeve or shoulder panels and giving it almost equal prominence to the main colour. Perhaps this is the reason for so many kit clash issues of late? I’m hoping that more kits now will revert to focussing on the club’s colour rather than adding unnecessary amounts of, normally, white.

The Leeds shirt is a bit of a disappoinment. It introduces a large floppy collar and an asymmetrical blue and yellow panel on the left hand side. Somehow for me it doesn’t work as well as some of the other recent simple, elegant Leeds designs. Maybe its trying too hard.

New on the site this week is the conclusion of the popular Melchester Rovers kit section bringing the story up to 2001 – the last time we saw the legendary team in action. There’s still a few away kits missing  though, so if you are a Melchester fan and can help fill in the gaps please contact me.

I’ve also added Reading’s 08-09 kits to the 08-09 kit page – I am hoping I can finish this section before the 09-10 season starts! Illustrating the backs of the shirts with the squad names has proved very time-consuming.

Finally, I discovered an interesting Daily Mail article about football shirts that doesn’t churn out the tired old diatribe of “rip-offs!’. It looks at the recent trend of leaked new designs online. It seems the growing culture of football kit design obsessives is reaching the national press! You can read the article here:

24 Replies to “Almost Weekly Blog 2 May

  1. I’m with you John on making kit designs simpler – although some of Adidas’ lower league asymetrical designs (e.g. Plymouth) still remain – the appear to make a lot more effort for their ‘big’ names!

  2. I’m still one of those peeps who isn’t keen on the new Adidas template used for the Chelsea kit, it’s a style best suited to the Tour de France than down the Kings Road in my opinion.

    Newcastle’s new kit is good apart from the big white back panel on the back which really spoils it. Wolves’ new kit looks good (not sure about the white and RED?! away though) while Leeds’ new kit looks as if the big collar was designed by Harry Hill. How the mighty have fallen, wearing Macron (I say that because a lot of Welsh League teams wear Macron kits)!!!

    Oh and on that Daily Mail article I gotta say how bad those Man U supposed “kits” are, especially the white one, which looks very dodgy. By the way I’ve also heard Man City’s new shirts were leaked too, and just like the Man U away one in that Daily Mail article, it also features a curious small sponsor logo rather than a full logo in the usual position.

  3. The away and 3rd kits look promising if real. Not totally convinced though, like last season which grew on me.
    The cut of the away kit looks wrong which is a shame because the design is good (the badge should be lighter too) and the 3rd kit is good but needs to be either black (darker) or a traditional away colour like yellow.

  4. Like the Harry Hill comment Jon!! Amir – I wonder if the leaked kits don’t look so good due to the model? I just really have a problem with third and away kits the same colour essentially as the home. Thanks for posting the links by the way.

    Andy, you’ve touched on something I’ve been thinking about for a while as well!

  5. I think the away is supposed to be white but the light outside makes it look bluey. I like the 3rd kit because it reminds me of the old Inter 3rd kit of black and dark grey stripes.
    Also Blackburn have a blue and blue combo of kits, remembering that the 3rd kit will be used as a last choice.

  6. i quite like the wolves home kit,if the sponsor was black and the badge was a larger ‘wolf head’ instead of the ‘wolf head’ in a shield it would be much better.

  7. Anyone seen the new Blackburn away kit? Talk about superfluous! Whatever made them think that having a WHITE away kit would be a good idea when the home shirt is 50% white anyway?

    They should have gone for a colour scheme which is functional yet tried and tested in their history, like red and black, or yellow.

  8. My first thought too Jon, it can be worn against Chelsea, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Everton, possibly City, but a third will be needed against Spurs, Wigan, Bolton, Stoke perhaps and Fulham

  9. John

    What a fantastic site- you are doing marvellous stuff and I really enjoy it!
    When can we expect to see the QPR kits on the site?
    And what do you think of their 09/10 designs- personally I believe they are a huge improvement on last season, especially the away kit!

  10. If Blackburn retain the current navy away kit as a third choice next season, that will cause further potential colour clash problems – possibly with Wigan, though it depends on if their new Vandanel kit is one of those UEFA anti-stripes style efforts, but most certainly it would cause problems with West Brom’s kit should they avoid relegation.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a new third kit does get released though, making this white away kit a cheap marketing ploy for people to go and buy the third shirt, because they’d probably be wearing that more often than the away.

    Ironically talking of West Brom they had a similar issue when they brought out a white away kit last season, which was hardly worn – the Baggies instead wearing their black (another dodgy colour choice) third strip for most away matches, even against teams in plain blue!

    It just doesn’t make sense.

  11. Hello Jon and Denis – I’m with you on this. I just can’t understand the logic behind their white kit, it just gives ammunition to the people who criticise kits as purely a money-making scheme to fleece the fans. There’s just no logic to it. My guess is that they will not use the navy kit as a third next season – if they do they will have a whole lot of kit clash issues. Maybe the FA should take a look at this?

  12. With kit clashes being a cause for debate at the minute after the Hull City debacle and Villa having to wear white at home something should be done regarding home and away kits being too similar. I’m not sure if those rules taken from the Premier League covers this but it should be.

    I know some teams who wear white stripes have released white away kits in the past – Sunderland did so only last season, and teams such as Stoke and Sheffield United have had white away kits many times in the past, but it’s a different matter altogether for teams which wear halved kits due to the colour arrangement on the shirt and certain angles at which they are viewed at.

    Take Blackburn’s shirt for instance, which when viewed from a certain angle looks more white than blue. It’s just nonsense. I remember a similar instance in the Dutch league a few years back, when Feyenoord rather stupidly brought out a white away kit with green trim, but did not have a third kit. It caused a few problems, most notably when they wore the kit at Ajax, causing a terrible clash in my opinion.

    Oh and I’ve just seen the new Bolton Wanderers home shirt, another early contender for worst kit of the season, Reebok really have gone down the pan since Adidas bought them.

  13. Yuo can add Celtic’s new away effort to the list as well. White shirt with green tartan shorts! Where are they going to wear that? Hibs? Ridiculous.

  14. Hello Ian – the Celtic away kit is being marketed as their ‘international’ away kit, meaning (in theory) that it will only be worn in Europe. Similarly Liverpool’s 08-09 green kit was their ‘European’ kit. Try calling these a third kit (because really to all intents and purposes thats what they are!) and the clubs get a little touchy! The only time I’ve ever seen Celtic play in the flesh was against Hibs in 1980 at Celtic Park with both teams wearing their home kits!

  15. Hello Teddy,

    Thanks for your message and kind words! I’m delighted you are enjoying the site! QPR kits will be coming very soon I promise. I will be posting online today the short article I recently wrote for the QPR magazine. I think you’re right about the Hoops 09-10 kits. I wasn’t sure at all about the 08-09 outfits but these ones look a lot better – always good to see the red and black hoops back.

  16. What is more remarkable about Celtic’s “International” away kit is that with the home kit having broken hoops due to UEFA’s war on stripes, the back of the shirt is almost plain white and so makes the “International” away kit useless.

    The problem is that with Celtic’s hoops being broken in European competition due to UEFA’s war on stripes, the back of the shirt is plain white (which I know has angered a lot of traditionalists!), so this new “International” away kit is utterly pointless. The shorts though are bizarre and look like a pair of M&S boxer shorts!

    I used to remember the times when Hibs and Celtic would play each other and neither would change colours, it was extremely confusing. Thankfully common sense prevailed in the 90’s and both teams adopted distinguishable away colours, though a couple of years ago Celtic kept wearing a green and black striped kit at Hibs which caused visibility problems – it didn’t help the fact that in 07/08 they had the usual home kit, a bottle green away kit and retained the green and black striped kit as a third choice!

  17. Jon – I share your views on the Bolton kit. It could have been a nice looking shirt if it wasn’t for those stripes – a bizarre decision to include them really.

  18. Celtic’s new 3rd kit is just plain ridiculous, never mind whether they will ever be able to wear it against anyone. I agree with Jon, M&S should sue.

  19. At least with the new Bolton kit we are assured of having some Barcodes in the Prem next season even if Newcastle fail to aviod the drop.

  20. Hello Amir – I must admit, I generally love all things Nike – but I’m not sure about those shorts. Maybe they’ll look better in the flesh? I was not impressed by the Bolton kit but it does look a little better being worn then just simply laid flat and displayed.

  21. Just seen the new toon kit in the flesh, and held it in my hands, and its really nice. It does use a standard template, but the material is the same as the kit from 1999-01, and it has the same pattern as the classic kit from the 1995-96 seasons. It also has a white back, which Im not a fan of, but on the whole its a huge improvement over the kit from the last two seasons.

    On the Bolton one, the main problem with that is that the badge is too small on the kit. It looks tiny, and the shirt looks like it could be worn for any team, theres nothing “Bolton” about the kit. Reebok have made some great new kits for the big South American clubs on the roster, but with Bolton, they have lost the plot.

    By the way, Celtics new away shirt is going to cause a lot of awful clashes next season. Its a remake of the bumblebee kit from 1996-98 if the rumours are true.

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