This week sees the return of the Champions League and all that that entails (see David Squires’ cartoon in The Guardian for more).
For us kit aficionados, there is plenty to get our teeth into – Paris St-German’s new Jordan kits for the competition have proven to be worthy of discussion – while new strips for Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have raised questions as to whether either or both would dispense with their European kit traditions.
Since the 1960s (but excluding the 1991-92 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1999-2000 Uefa Cup), Spurs have favoured all-white in Europe – according to Historical Football Kits, more to do with floodlight visibility rather than a Real Madrid tribute.
However, their new home shirt features a white-to-navy gradient, meaning that it looks odd without the default navy shorts.
They could have changed shorts at to Manchester United or Watford in the Premier League but opted against doing so – they haven’t worn alternative home shorts in the league for quite a few years, though.
However, their opener on Tuesday is away to Inter Milan, who of course have black shorts and Uefa don’t generally allow shorts-clashes. In any case, Spurs have registered white shorts as their first choice and so will look something like this.
Likewise, Manchester United’s home shirt features a series of black stripes, widening each time, flowing into black shorts, which are the primary set for the first time.
Unlike Spurs, United do wear change shorts when applicable, but at Watford last Saturday they wore their new pink away shirt with off-white shorts (changed from black) rather than having their home shirt with change shorts.
That has raised the question as to whether or not they will continue to wear wear white shorts and socks in Europe, as has been the case since the launch of a special Champions League kit in 1997.
Tomorrow night, the Red Devils play their first group game, a trip to Switzerland to face BSC Young Boys, who wear yellow shirts with black shorts, so a change is needed anyway.
We can reveal that, according to Uefa’s official documentation, they will wear this kit:
However, again according to the documentation, the red/black/red kit is listed as the club’s first choice, so the above may just be a shorts-change for the Young Boys tie.
We will await their first home game, against Valencia on October 2, with interest.