While Fulham’s record of wearing four kits in the one Premier League season is not a record, we doubt anyone can match the feat of wearing those four strips in the space of five games.
There was no sign of anything being out of the ordinary on the opening day, a 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace, when the new adidas home shirt was worn.
However, a week later, the trip across London to face Tottenham Hotspur meant a change. Fulham had launched a new navy kit in the summer, but that wasn’t worn – the assumption was that that hadn’t been allowed against the Spurs shirt, which has extra navy this season.
Instead, the Cottagers took to the field for their 3-1 defeat in a previous red away shirt – but one which was by now two seasons old, having been used in 2016-17.
For the third set of fixtures, they were back in the home kit as they got their first win, 4-2 at home to Burnley, but the trip to face Brighton & Hove Albion before the international break provided another deviation from the norm.
Perhaps there was a fear that navy would clash with a large amount of royal blue and white, but, if so, it was an unfounded one.
In any case, if you were trying to avoid something clashing with navy, switching to black, as Fulham did, is hardly the biggest jump. The 2017-18 away shirt was matched with the current home shorts and socks – was it just the case that adidas hadn’t delivered the navy kit?
If that was the reason, then it was sorted before Saturday’s 3-0 loss away to Manchester City. However, as the champions have navy socks, Fulham had to change and the home set were used again – while the shirts have differed, those socks have been used in four of the five games.
As we said above, four kits in the one Premier League season isn’t as rare as you might think, even removing the instances where the fourth kit worn is at the end of the season, previewing the following campaign’s outfit.
In 1993-94, Sheffield Wednesday wore four kits and you can read about that here, while in 1996-97 Manchester United replaced one blue and white third kit with another in the middle of the season.
Bolton Wanderers had three normal kits in 2002-03 and wore a commemorative shirt to mark their 125th anniversary, just as Tottenham did in 2007-08. In that same season, Manchester United used special shirts for the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.
Looking at Fulham’s options, it’s unikely to see a fifth shirt being needed, but on the off-chance they manage that it would be a Premier League record – but not a top-flight record.
Ascertaining exactly who has worn the most in a single season may prove impossible, given the transient nature of change kits in the pre-commercial days, but we can say that, in the past 30 years, Chelsea’s five shirts of 1990-91 is the current title-holder.