Apologies to Coventry City fans for bringing up the season in which their membership of English football’s top flight ended after 34 years, but they did at least go down in a cohesive set of kits that allowed for good mixing.
After the club’s agreement with Le Coq Sportif came to an end in 1999, the Sky Blues played in self-produced kits for 1999-2000, all-blue home with navy and white trim while the away was white with black shorts and red trim. While some clubs manufacturing their own kits have come up with a brand name, Coventry’s lacked a maker’s mark of any sort, with the club crest positioned centrally.
The new home kit for 2000-01 kept the same thick arm stripe as its predecessor but this time they were in sky blue and white striped shirts, trimmed in black, with white shorts and socks for the first time. The all-black away had different panelling but the same shorts and socks style.
It meant that elements from the two strips could be combined well and the fact that the home shirts were worn against teams in royal blue meant that all four home permutations were seen. The Argentina-style kit was the most common mashup – including the game at Villa Park which relegated them – but black shorts and socks were used with the home shirt at Arsenal, while white shorts and black socks were seen at Chelsea.
However, while shorts-clashes were dealt with when they arose with Coventry in their home shirt, the same consideration wasn’t given when the away was used at the likes of Tottenham Hotspur. In that game, and away to Manchester City, the home socks were worn and this was the only deviation from the all-black.
Coventry would continue to come up with their own kits until the end of 2003-04, with Kit@, Puma, Nike and most recently Hummel making the club’s strips since then.