Football shirts or replica shirts are big business. Once simply a means of telling the two parties apart, they are now more a device to flog advertising space and an item of ‘leisure wear’.
These days everyone is an expert. Within seconds of new designs being released verdicts are passed from the either delighted and outraged consumers alike. The manufacturers tend for the most part to get it right. After all, it’s a multi million pound industry… but the road to where we are now was a rocky one!
Nicknamed the “Bruised Banana”, this Arsenal side were constantly frittered by “weaker” sides as their first Premiership season saw a dismal mid table finish, and this kit certainly didn’t help matters.
One word – ROADKILL! This kit looks bad enough with an awful lot going on, but even worse if worn with the shorts, black and bearing three adjacent white stripes. Probably the worst kit ever in terms of spacing and composition.
Aston Villa 1997/98
Mild in comparison to some of these horrors, but still worthy of a mention. This one was worn with white shorts, which gave the appearance of bottom heaviness. Furthermore, the light blue yolk effect is disastrous, as it exceeds the midriff and looks dodgy when divided by a claret line.
Manchester United 1995/96
It wouldn’t be a change kit hall of shame without the legendary kit which Sir Alex Ferguson claimed made the players invisible. This kit saw its last hurrah in a 3-1 pummelling by Southampton at The Dell, changed for a slightly better blue and white ensemble at half time when things got silly and Southampton started taking the mick at 3-0.
Aston Villa 2001/02
Another grey tragedy although some may claim that it is silver, but whichever one it is, the dullness is there to be seen. With only four away wins that season (two of them in the grey against Liverpool and Charlton), it was dropped with aplomb.
Manchester United 1997/98
You’d think that United would have learned their lesson – but just as they began to assert disquieting dominance over the league, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal deposed them in 1998, with this travesty of an away kit in the season the title changed hands. The badge looks wrong, and a convoluted design overall, with some dodgy lines thrown in for good (or bad) measure.
Ohhhhh boy, where to begin with this monstrosity. We have shade of blue abysmally “complemented” by eye watering bright red triangles on the shorts and matching collars. The red colours really jump out with the sheer contrast, and from a front view, it looks like the players’ knackers are being crushed by a pair of ungodly isosceles triangles. Ouch!
This kit was a nod towards the “black watch” era of smart black shirts with a ruby sash, but this horrific take coincided with the most dramatic nosedives seen in modern day football. Whatever possessed the kit designer to go with a garish “salmon pink” (which bordered on RED) with black stripes is best left to the imagination, but probably involved incontinence and a head able to turn 360 degrees. No wonder they went from undisputed champions to relegation fodder in the space of seven years!
Concluding our countdown of change kit cock-ups is Arsenal, who conveniently had JVC as their sponsors on a shirt which looked like a badly tuned television. The intended “lightning” design is completely absurd – would it really have been that difficult to make the shirt halved with dark and light blue?
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