The Arsenal Away Kit Situation

Posted by John Devlin

Denis Hurley recently pointed out to me that on the Arsenal website they are stating that, bizarrely, the club will wear their yellow/redcurrant away kit against against Blackpool this weekend:

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/blackpool-v-arsenal-kit-selection?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29

As the official Premier League handbook and the Arsenal site itself clearly state that the club’s third kit this season is last season’s navy strip it is very odd indeed that they are opting for the yellow kit that will clash with Blackpool’s tangerine – especially, as Denis points out, if there is bright sunlight.

The mystery deepens as I have been reliably informed that the kit room at the Emirates has never received a stock of the navy kits for this season, casting doubt as to whether this is an official third choice or not. In this day and age its madness that clubs can’t wear kits that clearly differentiate them from each other.

The Arsenal site has been known to get some of the finer details wrong when informing people of kit choices but on the whole it is pretty accurate.

So what will Arsenal wear? We wait with baited breath…


43 Responses to “The Arsenal Away Kit Situation”

  1. Skelly Says:

    Can you believe Arsenal have announced they will be wearing the yellow and redcurrant away kit against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road this Sunday!?

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/blackpool-v-arsenal-kit-selection

    John Devlin mentioned it on Twitter, and somebody replied that the navy blue away kit from last season hasn’t been retained as a third kit this season.

    I don’t think that is true.

    Firstly, the kit is available to buy in the Arsenal online store, listed as the “third kit for 2010/11″. It’s even advertised on the main page at Arsenal.com.

    Secondly, I’m almost certain UEFA require every team who play in the Champions League or the Europa League to have three kits. I mean, when was the last time any of the regular Champions League teams didn’t have a third kit?

    Arsenal even retained the 04/05 royal blue away kit, as a third kit in 05/06 and then they switched sponsors from O2 to Fly Emirates for 06/07, and still kept the kit, even going to the effort of changing the sponsor on the shirt, even though it was never used (because the red home and yellow away wasn’t going to really clash with anyone during that time) but did so because they need an official third kit for the Champions League.

    Also, I’m sure the only reason Aston Villa kept the white and navy blue away kit from last season, as a third kit for this season, with a new sponsor stuck on, and it hasn’t been worn this season because they don’t really need it for the Premier League – is because of the Europa League.

    Although, they ended up losing the qualifier.

    Just another baffling kit decision by Arsenal.

  2. Denis Hurley Says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens on Sunday! Interestingly, I just noticed now that that link says redcurrant, rather than yellow/gold, socks will be worn, implying that they would clash with Blackpool’s orange socks.

    Surely in that case the shirts clash too?

  3. Jon Says:

    I agree, this is madness.

    Arsenal would have known about the home and away colours being problematic with Blackpool’s tangerine for months, and to not receive stock of the navy kits, having registering it with the Premier League as a third kit (for it to be in the handbook), is a rather feeble excuse, if, as Skelly said above, the kit is still available to buy as a replica. Why couldn’t they just obtain some replica kits and apply the names, numbers and Premier League sleeve badges to them? It’s only for one match!

    Ironically, the last time Arsenal went to Bloomfield Road for a league match, back in the 1970/71 season, they couldn’t wear the home and away kits, so they had to dig out the previous away kit, which was……. you guessed it, navy blue!

    It is also well documented that Arsenal wore yellow at Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this season, but unlike Blackpool, Shakhtar’s kit was orange and black stripes (with a UEFA-friendly plain black back), and Fulham’s goalkeeper wore a yellow kit against Blackpool this weekend just gone, but rules seem to be more enforced on outfield kits.

  4. David Morrissey Says:

    What this boils down to is that rather then let common sense prevail and wear their Navy kit, Arsenal would rather push for more shirt sales with their yellow and redcurrant number by promoting it more. It quite simply beggars belief.
    the ironic thing about the last time the sides met in Bloomfield road in 70-71, Arsenal were probably breaking regulations at the time by wearing the navy shirt as it clashed with the shirt the referee used wear

  5. Skelly Says:

    I find it very hard to believe that they don’t have any of the navy blue kits.

    What did they do, throw them all away?

    Even after registering it as a third kit!?

  6. Denis Hurley Says:

    It’s also ironic that Arsenal have worn their away this season against teams in blue when there was no clash and now they might not have any non-clashing kit! In 1975-76, Luton were in the first division and wore orange shirts, Arsenal wore an all-white kit at Kenilworth Road

  7. Skelly Says:

    @David Morrissey.

    I’m not sure it’s because Arsenal are “pushing for more shirt sales” of the yellow kit.

    It’s been worn loads of times this season. As Denis mentioned, it’s even been worn against teams when there hasn’t been a clash – Wigan, Ipswich, West Brom and Everton.

    As well as the usual teams in red/claret – Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Sunderland, Barcelona, West Ham.

    Actually, talking of boosting sales, wouldn’t it make more sense to wear the navy blue third kit for the first time this season? As that is on sale, and hasn’t been worn yet.

  8. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Has anyone else thought there would be less of a clash if The Goons actually wore the home kit as opposed to the away? It’s much darker, the sleeves are completely different and the socks wouldn’t clash either.

  9. Nick Durham Says:

    Crazy! It’ll be interesting to see what the kits look like side by side.

    I wonder if it’ll be th biggest colour clash of the season? So far, my vote goes to Birmingham v Manchester City, when inexplicably City wore sky blue, instead of the fabulous white third strip. Even stranger is that MCFC.co.uk indicated that the white would be worn.

  10. Jon Says:

    If stock was such a problem, I’m suprised Arsenal didn’t highlight the issue to Nike beforehand, so that another run of kits could be manufactured and supplied. Failing that they could have gone into the Nike Teamwear catalogue and get an emergency third kit produced with the club badge and sponsor logo added.

    Another alternative to get around the colour clash would be to modify a set of training shirts by putting names and numbers on the back. I’ve known clubs to do this in the past.

  11. Denis Hurley Says:

    The navy kit is still on sale in the club shop (shirts now down to £10) so names, numbers and patches could be plastered onto them if it comes to it

  12. Skelly Says:

    @8. Andrew Rockall.

    That’s a good point, actually.

  13. David Morrissey Says:

    @ Andrew Rockall (8)
    Good point regarding the Red home shirt. It would be alot better then the yellow. If Blackpool’s ‘tangerine’ was anyway stronger we might get away with yellow but it isn’t. Its very light.
    What about even pairing that with Red shorts and socks if necessary?

    @skelly (7) You make a good argument re pushing for sales for the navy kit but in a sense Nike and Arsenal see this navy kit as obsolete now with no point of giving any further advertisement to. I may be wrong but i think they are looking at this from a commercial sense.

    Remember we played Lens back at Highbury 2000 and we considered changing at half time due to their combination of red with yellow shorts picking up our yellow shirts? Wonder will we have to change at half time? We we went vice versa from Navy to Yellow against Sparta Prague the next season in the champions league when our Navy kit was picking up their Redcurrant.

  14. David Morrissey Says:

    Just to clarify this piece from my last post, ‘What about even pairing that with Red shorts and socks if necessary?’
    I meant the red home shirt.

  15. Skelly Says:

    I’m watching Chelsea versus Manchester United on TV…

    My word, the number and letter font Adidas have provided Chelsea with for the Champions League is so ugly!

  16. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Skelly I believe that is Chelsea’s own design as it has the club emblem rather than Adidas branding

  17. Skelly Says:

    Yeah, actually, you’re right, Andrew.

    I’m sure it was the kit manufacturer who supplied the numbering and lettering for Premier League teams playing in the Champions League in the past though.

    I remember Liverpool and Chelsea wearing what looked to me like the Adidas stripes figured into the players number, in 07/08.

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/80563702/Getty-Images-Sport

    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/80133120/Getty-Images-Sport

  18. David Morrissey Says:

    Surely Vic Akers is not coloured blind and will see this clash before Saturday.

  19. John Devlin Says:

    I’ll try and post some comparison illustrations tonight to see how the kits shape up. It may be that the yellow provides less of a clash to the tangerine than the red. However, for me the real point is that Arsenal have been actively promoting and marketing a replica third kit this season that they seemingly have little intention of using. OK, perhaps there will be adequate difference between the two kits, but if you’ve supposedly got a perfect third kit for that situation then use it.

  20. Denis Hurley Says:

    If red and yellow both clashed with orange 40+ years ago, surely they do now too?

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/flashback-blackpool-0-1-arsenal-1970

  21. John Devlin Says:

    Spot on Denis – I’m looking forward to the weekend to see what they do wear! Anticipation..

  22. amir Says:

    Maybe Arsenal are doing this to hide their shame when they fall even further back in the title race? *(wink)*

  23. Skelly Says:

    @ 20. Denis Hurley.

    I suppose you are right, but teams often have lighter/darker shades of their colours, which can make a difference.

    For instance, the current Manchester United home kit, is a lighter red, than the 96-98 home kit.

  24. David Morrissey Says:

    Another possibility is that the officials may request Blackpool to change to their away or third colours ala Villa v West Ham at Villa Park two seasons ago or City V Spurs 1990 (Think that was due to fog though).

  25. Skelly Says:

    I bet that is what happens, David.

    All of this talk about it being a terrible clash, or maybe Arsenal seeing sense and sorting out the navy third kit situation for the match.

    I bet, as you say, Arsenal simply turn up with the yellow kit, and the officials ask Blackpool to wear their white away kit, or their light and dark blue third kit.

  26. Skelly Says:

    The teams are out…

    Arsenal are wearing yellow-redcurrant-redcurrant.

    Blackpool are wearing orange-white-orange.

    Arsenal.com were wrong about one thing. The Arsenal keeper is wearing the jade kit. They said he’d be wearing the black kit.

  27. Denis Hurley Says:

    Not as bad as feared, to be fair, redcurrant socks helping to differentiate. The Arsenal site often gets the GK kits wrong for some reason

  28. David Morrissey Says:

    Mad Jens might have preferred jade lol!!

  29. Skelly Says:

    I agree, Denis, it’s as bad as I thought it would be.

    As you say, I think the change redcurrant socks are helping differentiate.

    It’s still a bit of a shambles though, regarding the third kit. I’m surprised that would be allowed at a club like Arsenal.

    By the way, has it been confirmed that they haven’t been stocked with the navy third kit – or is it just a rumour?

  30. David Morrissey Says:

    For the viewer the socks are a help and for playing ball to feet but for a high ball, the two sets of tops don’t contrast quite enough. total shambles. the fa needs to step in and enforce the kit issue. its very sad when a professional game in the year 2011 cant see the problem.

  31. Pete Says:

    When Dundee United (Tangerine/Black/Tangerine) play Motherwell (Amber/Redcurrant/Redcurrant0 * It is deemed a clash by the Scottish League,

    So the teams have to change (usually both teams have all white change kits), wonder why it isn’t the same in the English League ?

    * They say it’s Claret, but its the same for the sake of argument in this case.

  32. Jon Says:

    I’m having a bit of trouble watching this match.

  33. Skelly Says:

    Watching the game in HD, I didn’t have a problem, to be honest.

    I just switched over to the SD channel, and it’s A LOT harder to tell which team is which…

  34. Skelly Says:

    Newcastle are wearing their third kit at Villa Park, for no apparent reason.

    They’ve actually managed to create a shorts clash, by doing so.

  35. Jon Says:

    It really is a daft day today, one team don’t wear a third kit when they (should) have one, and another wear a third kit when they didn’t need to.

    Could you have imagined both cases from today happening during the early 90’s when the Football League were very strict on kits? Nah don’t think so!

  36. Willie Says:

    If the Arsenal top was more amber in colour it would have been a bigger problem. As Pete said, Motherwell (Amber) always change when they play Dundee United (Tangerine).

  37. David Morrissey Says:

    @ skelly (33) Perhaps Sky are causing these clashes deliberately to get people to switch to HD? ha ha ha

  38. David Morrissey Says:

    Have a look at this picture, it really captures the clash problem especially with the sunshine glare

    http://www.arsenal.com/assets/_files/images/apr_11/gun__1302445961_Van_Persie.jpg

  39. Andrew Rockall Says:

    Maybe nobody foresaw the sunshine being an issue at a British seaside town in April!

    Just a thought, but maybe Newcastle had bad memories of their last trip to Villa Park (relegation) and chose to change for changes sake.

  40. John Devlin Says:

    The clash wasn’t as drastic as I thought BUT it still would have made loads of sense to wear the supposed third kit. The fact that it seems the club don’t actually have a third kit this year despite actively marketing one is the issue that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

  41. Denis Hurley Says:

    In their last two away games, against Spurs and Bolton, Arsenal wore their home kit, makes the decision to wear yellow against some teams in blue all the more bizarre!

  42. Simon Shakey Shakeshaft Says:

    For fear of continuing this debate, i’d just like to add

    “John Devlin mentioned it on Twitter, and somebody replied that the navy blue away kit from last season hasn’t been retained as a third kit this season.

    I don’t think that is true” It was in fact me who said on twitter to John that the blue kit hadn’t been retained because i know this to have been a fact, proven by them not wearing blue at Blackpool? For Arsenal to still market it as a 3rd shirt is very naughty imo, just a desperate attempt to move as much remaining blue shirt stock as possible from previous season. It was available online but not sure it was still available to buy in the Megastore?

    “Secondly, I’m almost certain UEFA require every team who play in the Champions League or the Europa League to have three kits. I mean, when was the last time any of the regular Champions League teams didn’t have a third kit?”
    Not the case, for European club competition you have to supply to kits, home and away and in the case of a colour clash with both of these then a third choice used, which has to be agreed by opposition and UEFA prior to the match.

    And sorry Skelly to disagree with you again but “Arsenal even retained the 04/05 royal blue away kit, as a third kit in 05/06 and then they switched sponsors from O2 to Fly Emirates for 06/07, and still kept the kit, even going to the effort of changing the sponsor on the shirt, even though it was never used (because the red home and yellow away wasn’t going to really clash with anyone during that time) but did so because they need an official third kit for the Champions League”
    They did not retain the blue 04/05 away shirt as a 3rd shirt with a change of sponsor for the 06/07 season. I have seen a few player spec shirts with the Fly Emirates logo floating around auction sites or collections but again this was never submitted with the FA or UEFA for use in any competition that season and again as with the blue from last season never ever entered the clubs kit room.

  43. John Devlin Says:

    Shakey – you the man!!

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