When it comes to merchandising, football clubs leave no stone unturned. From kits to hats to even onesies, major European Clubs cover all bases.
They’re especially expansive in the kit department, offering player-version kits, fan-version kits, anniversary kits, special editions, alternate versions, and the list goes on.
However, a notable omission on that list is one of a regular kit without any sponsors emblazoned on it.
While there have always been calls for sponsorless kits, they have heightened recently because of these two cases coinciding.
First came West Ham United‘s game against Sevilla which saw the Hammers remove sponsors Betway from their kits, due to Spanish kit rules.
Let. Fans. Buy. Sponsorless. Kits. pic.twitter.com/BYtYx6Ds8k— Ellis Platten – AwayDays (@ellis_platten) March 11, 2022
And then came Three UK’s announcement. In light of the recent sanctions imposed on Chelsea FC, the telecommunications company opted to ‘temporarily suspend’ their deal with the club, spawning the idea of a sponsorless kit as the way forward.
All this led to plenty of discussion amongst fans, and many clamoured for sponsorless versions of their favourite side’s kits.
The reasoning for their desires is obvious, a kit showcasing just the traditional colours of the club is miles better than a version emblazoned with advertisements.
However, it is unlikely clubs will ever offer such an alternative, after all, sponsorships are multi-million dollar deals, and realistically, the shirts will sell anyway
Nevertheless, this does beg the question, should clubs offer sponsorless kits? The answer, as fans would unanimously state, is absolute yes. Unfortunately, with commercial interests at stake, it is unlikely that it will ever happen.