Wednesday, 24 June 2009

2009/10 Home Kit Revealed

Yesterday, Manchester United sent out emails with a teaser image of the new kit for next season:

Manchester United 2009-10 home kit teaser

The kit will be officially unveiled on July 1st, but the image leaves little to the imagination and it appears to be the same one that leaked photos appeared of several weeks ago. It has a black chevron across the chest and a black crew neck. The shorts feature red flashes down the sides, similar to those worn most recently with the 1996/98 home kit. The socks feature a red chevron on the back of the calves with the Nike swoosh below:

Manchester United 2009-10 Home kit

An article was published on where Rio Ferdinand talked about the new kit:

New kit's nod to history

United's new home kit for the 2009/10 campaign will be officially unveiled next week, but it is now available to pre-order online.

The red kit celebrates 100 years of Old Trafford and part of the design will reflect that which was worn by the Reds a century ago.

The players will don the kit for the first time during their pre-season tour of Asia next month. The squad fly out to the Far East on 16 July - the day the kit goes on sale and on which pre-orders will be delivered.

Rio Ferdinand says the players are always excited to see the new kit and insists the historical aspect acts as an inspiration to everyone.

"Maintaining the traditions of the club is very important," he told

"Last season we had the blue kit to remember the European Cup winners of 1968 and this one dates back to the 1900s to celebrate 100 years of Old Trafford.

"This club has always taken pride in its history - it acts as an inspiration to all of us and it’s great to see it represented in the new kit."

This article is strange for a number of reasons. Firstly it had previously been reported that the kit was to be a tribute to that worn for the 1909 FA Cup final, which had a "V" sash on the chest (see below). Secondly, Nike's policy for these kits is to bring them out for the season after the event. The blue third kit from last season was to commemorate 40 years since the club's first European cup win, although it was worn 41 seasons after the event (1967/68 was the European Cup winning campaign, but the 40th anniversary kit came out for the 2008/09 season). This was also the case with Celtic's home kit from the 2007/08 season.

The fact that United didn't make the switch to Old Trafford until midway through the 1909/10 season and that they did not wear a kit resembling this one in any way (a different kit with a "V" sash was worn again by United, but not for another 12 years) makes it obvious to me that this kit would not have been designed as a nod to the 100th anniversary of the move across town, but in recognition of the centenary of the first cup win. The mention of the latter event seems to have been no more than an afterthought.

Park Ji Sung in the new kit:

Ji Sung Park in 2009/10 home kit

As far as the kit itself goes, well it's a disappointing effort as far as I'm concerned. Nike have produced some excellent kits for the coming season for the likes of Barcelona, Aston Villa and Paris Saint Germain (although that is not without controversy as the famous central stripe has been removed from the home shirt), but United's kit seems to have little effort gone into the design. The collar is very basic - presumably a cost saving choice- and the v-neck featured on the Barcelona and PSG shirts would surely have been better suited to complement the chevron:

Barcelona 2009/10 home shirt detail

The shirt would also have been improved by the addition of the sleeve caps featured on almost all of the other 2009/10 Nike shirts - again, I can only put the absence of these down to cost.

United seem to be victims of their own success when it comes to things such as inflated transfer fees, and kit design appears to suffer, too. Manufacturers know they do not have to make any particular effort to produce a good kit, as they know whatever design they put out will sell in the millions. To add insult to injury, the shirt is priced at £42.99 on the United on-line store - £3 more than last season's.

Still, on the bright side, it is not as bad as Everton's new home kit - the shirt from which resembles a Val Doonican-style cardigan over turtle-neck combo - or Newcastle United's new away kit which appears to have been influenced by the fact the designer was munching his way through a 3lb bag of lemonade fizzbombs while working on it.

Update: The shirt has been officially unveiled earlier than previously announced. From
The red kit celebrates 100 years of Old Trafford with a large chevron across the chest, reflecting the design of the shirts worn by United when the stadium first opened during the 1909/10 season.

The back of the shirt has an engineered mesh, which is a series of small chevrons, a performance feature to offer the players even greater ventilation during games. Inside the black round-neck collar is a high quality woven label in red, white and black, while engineered into the side seam is a small label that reads ‘The Theatre of Dreams Since 1910.’

The shirt is made from Nike Dri-Fit fabric, which keeps the players drier, cooler and lighter by drawing sweat from the body to the fabric’s surface, while it’s three-dimensional construction gives more air space around the skin to reduce clinging.

The white shorts have a red stripe along the side, a red devil graphic on the back of the waist band, while the draw cords feature 'MUFC' on the tips. The black socks have a red chevron on the calf.

The players will don the kit for the first time during their pre-season tour of Asia next month.
The red-highlighted part of the text is odd, as United would wear their regular red shirts in their first season at Old Trafford. I can only imagine that this "tribute" element has been added as an excuse to change the kit after just one season, as Nike did with the 2006/07 home kit. The chevrons are actually far more likely to do with Nike's current "V For Victory" campaign than anything else.

Here are the official photos of the home kit:

Manchester United 2009/10 home shirts
Manchester United 2009/10 home shorts
Manchester United 2009/10 home socks

These are the goalkeepers kits:

Manchester United 2009/10 home goalkeeper jersey
Manchester United 2009/10 away goalkeeper shorts
Manchester United 2009/10 home goalkeeper socks
Manchester United 2009/10 away goalkeeper jersey
Manchester United 2009/10 away goalkeeper socks

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