PSV’s bending of Champions League sponsorship rules

It’s something of a shame that PSV Eindhoven’s 1992-93 away kit didn’t receive wider attention.

While the home kit remained the same as it had been since the spring of 1990, the away used the first adidas Equipment style and was – as far as we know – the only instance where the sponsor was angled to tie in with the over-the-shoulder striping.

You can find the away shirt on certain sites that sell older shirts but a lot of the versions we have seen have the Philips logo rendered in Arial font rather than the correct  one.

That that style wasn’t seen by more people was because sponsors’ logos weren’t allowed by Uefa in the Champions League group stages, PSV having qualified for the last eight after missing out in 1991-92 (see this article for Rangers’ quick fix in ensuring long-sleeved shirts were ‘unsponsored’).

However, in official documentation, the Dutch representatives in that season’s Champions League weren’t PSV, but Philips SV. This is from the TV graphics when they played Porto:

Porto-PSV

And this is the scorboard from their game against IFK Gothenburg:

Gothenburg-PSV

According to Dirk Maas, our go-to man for all Dutch information:

Clarity about the location of their stadium  (Philipsdorp, a quarter in Eindhoven) for non-Dutch spectators was given as main reason (they wanted to be a bit of an equivalent of Feyenoord, apparently). PSV asked the UEFA for permission for this change of name. The UEFA didn’t object and gave PSV permission to use the name ‘Philips SV’.

This was the only season the name was used. I think the real reason was just to please their sponsor. In the late 1980s, several clubs were unhappy about the European Cup format. There were plans for a ‘European Supeleague’, a kind of predecessor of the Champions League.

Multinationals such as Philips, Fiat and Volvo were prepared to invest money in this tournament. This tournament never took off but the Champions League did. By using the name Philips SV, PSV might have wanted to give some kind of reward for the never fulfilled plans in the late 80s.

There’s certainly a validity to Dirk’s theory – see if you can spot the addition to the two sponsorless shirts for the Champions League group stages (sponsors were allowed in the earlier rounds).

The ‘new’ club name was now written above the crest (for some reason, the adidas trefoil was higher too on the home shirt) – it meant that PSV were the only one of the eight group-stage teams to have their sponsors’ name on their shirts.

PSV-1992-01

Sponsors wouldn’t be allowed in the group stages until 1994-95, with PSV’s rivals Ajax winning the first final after the rule-change.

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