Midweek Mashup – AC Milan, 1982

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First off, apologies for the delay – the site was unavoidably down yesterday but the issue was sorted.

Last year, when we featured Milan in this series, it was a rare deviation away from an all-white change kit. This time, it’s a notable alteration to the home strip, where white shorts have been the default for almost all of the club’s history, with black used as an alternative and occasionally as first choice.

Despite finishing third in 1979-80, Milan were relegated following a match-fixing controversy but they made an immediate return, topping Serie B.

Their first two backs back in the top flight, away to Udinese and at home to Fiorentina, were scoreless draws and then they triumphed 1-0 away to Napoli on September 27.

However, they lost 1-0 at home to Juventus a week later and that started a run of nine games without a victory in the league. As a result, the rossoneri made an outfit change for their first game of 1982, at home to Cagliari on January 3.

AC-Milan-1981-1982-maglia-pantaloncini-rossi-01

Yes, yes, the sponsor’s name is like a word for discharge. The shirt was made by  Irma di Reggio Emilia (thanks to Gooner Adam for this).

The shape on the collar was also part of the sponsorship, representing the Pooh logo – the devil next to the wording was a Milan insignia, referencing the words of club founder Herbert Kilpin: “We are going to be a team of devils..our colours will be red like flames and black like our opponents’ fear.”

Perhaps the red shorts were inspired by Inter Milan’s switch to blue in 1980, but they proved an immediate tonic as they beat Cagliari 1-0. The turnaround wasn’t lasting, though, and the white shorts returned for the Milan derby on March 7.

Come the end of the season, Milan finished third from bottom with seven wins, ten draws and 13 losses, relegated back down to Serie B. They were promoted again in 1982-83 and finished sixth, fifth, seventh and fifth before the title was won again in 1987-88 thanks to a combination of Silvio Berlusconi’s ownership, Arrigo Sacchi’s management and no shortage of top players.

As far as we know, red shorts haven’t been worn with the striped home shirt since 1982.

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