Have you seen all the away kits teams have to wear? Its madness. They even have third shirts now for when their away shirts clash. You wouldn’t believe it.
Except you would. You’re used to it. You see Fulham playing in turquoise and think ‘oh!’. You see Manchester Utd in blue and think ‘Oh, what a lovely tribute to the European Champions of 1968¹’. You see Liverpool in white and blue and think ‘Wow! That’s a brave move, using the 1892 design as a shirt²’.
I don’t like it.
There’s not much I want to take from the glitz and the glamour of the NFL, but it has one pertinent idea here. Your home kit is coloured. It can be black, red, yellow, brown, purple whatever. Your away kit is white. It just is. Thus, you can always wear it. It won’t clash. Simple.
As I watch more Italian football, I notice that they seem to operate with different colour schemes on their shirts – not many clashes (though Torino do still have a third kit – they wore it not so long since; it’s a lovely light blue) there. So, here’s my thinking – basically, Italy planned it. England didn’t. English clubs kept their colour from when they could have no others because the game was established earlier there, and because of the prices of fabrics, a lot of clubs ended up in the same colours (there’s very few lighter colours in the English leagues – Norwich, Yeovil, Coventry and Manchester City – oh, and Bradford) and then couldn’t change their identity.
The Italian colours are different – I thought they might be colours of heritage, but the colours of the city of Turin are yellow and blue and, obviously, neither Turin nor Juventus play in blue or yellow (though Juve often have those as an away kit) and the colours of the Savoys reflected the Piedmontese flag (much like the Swiss flag), but a look at the top league alone sees yellows, purples, maroons, pink (hello, Palermo!) and there’s greens, oranges, and all sorts going on in the lower leagues; Forza Sassuolo, the neroverde (expect a post on their season so far soon).
I’ve worked out the following representations, using the dominant colour of shirts as text colour and the secondary colour (if say, striped, or veed) or shorts colour if different as the outline – stripes are stripey…get me; included the kits worn by teams first in the Football League on 1888/89, then the first Serie A season (1929/30) and the First Division at that time for contrast, then the current year’s Serie A and Premier League, followed by a little treat (mainly for me, I guess, but hey). If you’re wondering, they’re in order of the tables (either current or final, depending)
Football League 1888/89
Looking at this table reflects what I was talking about above. A lot of the colours are white, and the bottom colours are darker. Not a lot of variety to be had.
Serie A 1929/30
There’s a lot of different colours there, isn’t there? Not much use for away shirts, excepting Napoli and Lazio, but we are a fair way after the previous set, so how was England looking?
Division 1 1929/30
Not a lot more variety than the previous table; still a very definite ‘and white’ theme to it, though worth noting Wolves aren’t there, and they’re always good for colours.
Serie A 2012/13
Again, a lot of good colour representation, though a little heavy on the light blues with Pescara joining Napoli and Lazio. Genoa, Cagliari and Cesena are quite similar too.
Premier League 2012/13
I’m seeing the same thing again there, but thank goodness for Norwich adding a little colour into the mix.
Italy is more colourful than England; it doesn’t mean much, but its the truth.
Oh, and here’s your bonus – the basic colours, but well mixed up Welsh Premier League.
*Its really nice to see the Nomads, as once they were, back among Wales’ elite this season.
¹Maybe you do.
²Except you probably don’t, judging by the Liverpool fans I spoke to about it.