Thursday saw the launch of the new Manchester United kit for the 2019-20 season.
We’ll start with the positives and the most notable of these is the return of white shorts after what was, we hope, a one-off aberration in 2017-18. Proper black socks are back too and it’s not a bad kit overall – we would have liked some white on the shirt but it looks like a United strip.
Every strip must have a story these days and the narrative around this one is the 1999 treble win. The dates of the title win against Tottenham Hotspur and the FA Cup final against Newcastle are included while each sleeve has a little lozenge noting the times of the goals scored in the epic Champions League final win over Bayern Munich (90+1 and 90+3).
In terms of design, the only real cue taken from the Champions League kit (which was worn for three seasons, 1997-2000) is the shield on which the crest is placed.
That’s not egregious – we prefer some originality rather than slavishly copying an old kit – but you would have to question the timing (the year, that is, rather than the minutes on the sleeves).
The kit will be worn in 2019-20 which is 21 years after the treble season. Why not have it in the season just gone? Or, if you were marking the 20th anniversary of the Champions League final, why not delay the launch by ten days and do it on May 26?
The carelessness was also evident with the goalkeeper kit. Using the same template as the rest of the adidas stable, United will primarily use a purple kit between the posts:
However, somebody – either at the club or adidas – fell short in the research stakes as this appeared on the United website on launch day:
For most of that season, Schmeichel wore green, with a navy option available as well. The purple and pink kit came two years earlier. The text on the site was later amended.