The great kit-clash poll: the results

First off, apologies – we had intended to publish this far sooner, but circumstances dictated otherwise.

At the end of January, we ran a poll, asking users of the site to give their opinions on various match-ups and whether or not they constituted colour-clashes. Now, we will examine the results, with input from Simon Treanor, whose idea the whole thing was. Also, you should check out Simon’s blog, where he has created a version of Championship Manager 01-02 where you can play with the teams from the 1989-90 season.

So, without any further dallying, here is what the people said:

Claret/maroon v red

No clash – 10pc


Clash – 90pc


MOJ says: The most resounding result, and easy to see why. How it was allowed for a brief  spell in the mid-90s is mind-boggling.

Claret/maroon v blue

Clash v navy but not royal – 24pc


Clash v navy and royal – 13pc


No clash – 63pc



MOJ says: A bit surprising that this was so lopsided – we certainly wouldn’t be keen on claret v navy, as evidenced by the Arsenal-Sparta Prague game in 2000. What perhaps skews this question is the fact that the most notable wearers of claret in England tend to have sky-blue sleeves, raising the question of sleeve-clashes against blue teams.

ST says: Interesting that red is considered a clash but blue isn’t, against a colour that could be considered a combination of the two. It suggests that we tend to think of dark-coloured teams in terms of red and blue, which is borne out by the result below.

Gold/orange v red

No clash – 45pc


Clash – 55pc


MOJ says: Delightfully inconclusive, which is why – commercial considerations aside – we see such inconsistency. Just this season, Manchester United wore white at Hull City in the EFL Cup semi-final, but the sides’ three other meetings saw home kits worn.

Sky blue v darker blue

Never a clash – 24pc


Always a clash – 21pc


Clash against royal and not navy – 18pc


No clash if shorts/socks different – 37pc



MOJ says: Sky v royal always seemed to be considered a clash in the past, but the last decade or so has seen it allowed. Given that practically everyone has three kits nowadays, we’d avoid it for optimal ease of use.

ST says: Surprised by this outcome, as I find Man City’s use of their home kit against Chelsea/Everton intensely irritating, although this is partly because they’ll change at Watford the following week. Instinctively, it just feels like two shades of the same colour should chas, but it seems like modern orthodoxy considers shade more important. Howver, the result below contradicts that…

Sky blue v white

No clash – 82pc


Clash – 18pc


MOJ says: This is one where the weather conditions can play a part, in our view – the glare caused by sunnier weather would make it difficult. Obviously, there are different shades of sky blue too.

Blue v green

No clash – 89pc


Clash – 11pc


MOJ says: Occasionally, the hues or shades might cause trouble, but once there’s no shorts-clash it should be fine.

Red v green

Always allow – 33pc


Never allow – 20pc


Allow with different shorts – 47pc


MOJ says: This can be troublesome for those who are colour-blind, generally one in 12 men and one in 200 women. Clear distinction of the teams’ shorts the minimum measure.

ST says: One I hadn’t considered, but it’s perhaps the most important of all. It seems like the shorts change is a good compromise.

Reversed shirts/shorts

No clash – 69pc


Clash, one team changes kit – 10pc


Clash, one or both changes shorts/socks – 21pc


MOJ says: The ‘overall clash’ gives a bit of an internal conflict to deal with – we like when away kits are reversals of the home, but such a match-up can prove slightly confusing. Not the worst kind of clash, though.

ST says of the three above: These clashes have been considered the most controversial in recent years, and I’m pleased to see that most people are opposed, even at the risk dismissing modern kit-clash science out of hand, like the luddites that we are.

Stripes matching one solid colour

No clash – 18pc


Clash, one team changes kit – 42pc


Clash, change shorts/socks to aid differentiation – 40pc


ST says: These clashes are the main reason third kits exist, so it’s striking that a (small) majority of people think they’re not needed. We wouldn’t want to lose third kits though, would we?

Stripes v stripes, one common colour

No clash – 15pc


Clash, one team changes kit – 21pc


Avoidance of shorts/socks clash sufficient – 44pc


Clash, except for local derbies – 19pc


MOJ says: A boring answer, but this is one to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Generally, different shorts/socks should be enough.

ST says: This is one where tradition has to outweigh some of the usual considerations – the second option, which won, is perhaps the way to do so. It does look odd seeing Newcastle in white shorts at Sunderland though.

Stripes v solid colour which is a blend of two stripe colours

No clash – 18pc


Clash, change full kit – 40pc


Okay once shorts/socks not worsening clash – 43pc



MOJ says: Worse for spectators and TV viewers than the previous example, this should be avoided and most teams have enough kits to do so.


Never a clash – 49pc


Clash if same colour – 36pc


Clash if similar colour – 15pc


MOJ says: Not a problem for us or referees – rare that that part of the body has to be differentiated. Some competitions mandate the solving of shorts-clashes and that’s fine – it’s nice to see teams change shorts as opposed to full kits.


No clash – 74pc


Clash if same as opposition sleeves – 13pc


Clash if same as opposition body – 13pc

MOJ says: Fairly resounding, but this is another which some authorities seek to avoid, to help referees in dealing with handballs. En route to winning the FA Cup in 1993, Arsenal wore away kits at Leeds and Ipswich, but were allowed to wear their home against both in the Premier League.

2 comments on “The great kit-clash poll: the results

  1. Le Bourguignon

    Wonderful post. I think you could just have specified one case and listed another.

    On clashes between stripes v stripes, an specific case is when all the stripes are dark, like Milan v Inter, which seems to me “clashier” than light-dark stripes. But I think the result would be the same (Avoidance of shorts/socks clash sufficient).

    The other one would be Solid v Stripe where one stripe color match the solid and the other doesn’t have contrast. The title seems too specific, but it already has happened in Champions League Final. For instance:

    – Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid has no clash (Atletico’s red stripes have contrast with Real’s solid white)
    – But Liverpool and Milan will always be a clash (Milan’s black stripes have no contrast with Liverpool’s solid red).

  2. Le Bourguignon

    Another good solid colors clash debate would be between yellow and orange. Fifa ruled it as a clash for all Brazil v Netherlands WC matches, except in 1998.


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