The last few years has witnessed a sharp rise in the release of the fourth kit by clubs. The standard three kit policy (home, away & third) has now become obsolete as almost all of Europe’s top clubs have released a fourth in every other season.
Juventus and Adidas released the ‘Palace kit’, which was a more flamboyant take on the club’s traditional home kit during their 2018/19 season.
Paris Saint-Germain and Nike released an all-black version of the club’s home kit during the 2019/20 season. FC Barcelona and Nike brought out a special ‘El Clasico kit’ which was worn only for the 2020/21 season’s Classico at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium. Finally, this season saw Real Madrid celebrate their 120th anniversary with the ‘Y-3 kit’ that was worn during Sunday’s El Classico.
In most cases, the fourth kit is released in celebration of an occasion or a particular match and hence, it would be worn only for that special occasion. On the other hand, fourth kits have enabled clubs to utilize it as a new source of revenue when they were hard hit financially with the arrival of the Covid – 19 pandemic.
Due to the short usage of these kits, designers have been given a lot more freedom to express themselves with the fourth kit than with the standard first three kits.
It is perhaps precisely in this spirit that AC Milan and Puma in a collaboration with Italian brand NEMEN have are going to launch an ambitiously designed fourth kit for this season.
The leaked images show that the kit combines the traditional colours of the club in an experimental design.
But it looks like fans are not one bit pleased with the offering and have taken to Twitter to express an almost unanimous dissatisfaction.
The kit has almost copy-pasted the club’s current home kit, which has been used on the centre section of the torso. At the top (next to the shoulders) and the bottom (next to the hips), this red and black slowly fades into plain white which is how the rest of the entire kit looks. Along with this shirt, Puma have released matching white shorts to be paired with the kit.
Milan fans have been almost mortified reacting to this kit with most calling it ‘the worst Milan kit in history.’
It is clear that the club and Puma might have taken the idea of an experimental fourth kit to the extreme with this kit.
While fans are unhappy with this design, they would be hoping that the Milan club would make it up to them by securing the Scudetto title this season, thereby ending a trophy drought since 2016.