We’ve already looked at how the 1996-97 season saw the introduction of a shirt design Monaco would wear for eight years.
For the side beaten into second place in Ligue 1 by Monaco that season, Paris Saint-Germain, it was a campaign of many different shirts and kit combinations.
We’ll start with the easy bit, their ‘normal’ kits. Having been with Nike since 1989, they were in the American firm’s latest style, using the same collar design as Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and PSV that season. The fabric pattern featured a modified crest that included the large ‘PSG’ logo, which also appeared on the left sleeve. Joining the French league patch on the right sleeve was another marking, the significance of which we’re not sure of – a red circle on a white trefoil inside a blue clover-like shape.
The use of the same palette across both kits meant that mixing and matching was common – the white socks appeared with the home shirt and shorts at Cannes, while they changed shorts at Monaco and Lille.
Then, the blue home shorts appeared with the away shirt against Bordeaux while the white-white-red look was used away to Metz and in a 45-minute friendly against Bayern Munich as part of an Opel competition featuring that pair and AC Milan.
In that season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup, PSG had to modify the Opel logo and on the home shirt it appeared in a similar style to the away with a contrasting background. In addition, weren’t allowed to have the extra sleeve markings or the Pfizer logo on the shorts while shorts numbers weren’t used either.
Defending the competition, PSG found that, like many before them, they could reach the final but not retain the cup, losing 1-0 to Barcelona in a game where both teams changed kit. Special sleeve patches were worn (below right), while PSG became the first club to have a sponsor’s logo in the ECWC decider as Barça didn’t have one.
In October of that season, PSG had to come up with a third shirt for the trip to Lyon as the home side were wearing a new kit with blue sleeves, which was considered to clash with the Paris home while the away was naturally too similar. The solution was to wear a shirt that was effectively the same as the 1994-96 Arsenal home jersey, though with a different fabric pattern.
The fact that this shirt had the older crest would indicate that it was prepared for use in one of the two previous seasons but it hadn’t been worn. Another older shirt appearing that season was the 1995-96 home, used in two mid-season friendlies, against Sélection de la Réunion (who wore a design the same as that of Cameroon at the 1990 World Cup) and Maurice. Both of these were used in conjunction with the 1996-97 home shorts and socks.
PSG had to make another trip to Lyon in December, having been drawn against them in the Coupe de la Ligue. This time, Lyon wore a white-sleeved shirt, meaning PSG were in their usual colours but of course made by adidas, as was the custom for the French domestic cup competitions.
The logo of telecommunications firm SFR appeared on the front, while in the French Cup they advertised Axe and RTL, with a change version used against Clermont.