Manchester United Dollar Date (2015/16 Preview)

Almost 15 years after moving from Adidas to Umbro and then to Nike, Manchester United is back with the three stripes. The £750m deal over 10 years is ridiculous money and will hopefully fuel the club’s return to the top of English and European football.

I started following the club after the Adidas years but the Football Bible captured the previous sets of kits for the club from Adidas during  the 80’s and early 90’s, which provided a nice trip down memory lane and gave some perspective (and possibly a preview) on what the manufacturer will do for the Red Devils in the coming years. Would love to see a re-imagining of the 84/86 set.

In the age of the internet, it’s almost impossible to keep things a secret, so even though fans had to wait until August 1st to see the new United jersey, they had a pretty good idea of what it was going to look like. Adidas did not go crazy with their opening salvo, basing the home kit on the 1982 version that they produced. Using a color called “real red”, the strip is simple, clean and down the middle.

adidas-manchester-united-15-16-home-kit (1)

(Photo courtesy of Footy Headlines)

home herrera

(Photo courtesy of Manchester United)

What really jumped out at me was the black trim edged with red and white on the V neck collar. Seems like a small thing but it really made the collar pop. I’m really glad that Adidas did not use a recent touch of theirs, which is the bracketing of the cuffs and hem. I’ve seen this on a lot of templates and in MLS, and I hate it. Finally, in an interview with the designer, it was revealed that the M used to create the last loved/loathed away kit from Adidas before the switch to Umbro is stitched into the hem of the shirt. The shorts are very simple with just three red stripes and the club crest added, while the socks just have the devil part of the club crest and the Adidas logo and are topped with three stripes.


(Photo courtesy of Football Fashion)

away memphis

(Photo courtesy of Manchester United)

As for the away strip, another homage to the 80’s is made with a nod to the mid-80’s shirt–white with red trim. Again the V neck collar is trimmed and the cuffs are a solid white giving no contrast to the body which works for me. The black shorts have matching red trim from the shirt and red/pinstripe black/red band is added to the white socks, which I really like.

utd 3rd

The third strip is a misfire overall. While I’m usually a big fan of black kits, adidas really cocked this one up. The M accents, or as the Manchester United website notes, “the key graphic taken from the early 1990s shirt famously worn by Ryan Giggs,” are fine. My opinion is that they won’t be visible on TV and are barely noticeable in the flesh. The United website has a different point of view: “the graphic across the front of the shirt standing out brilliantly under the floodlights, which is ideal considering it will be used for the away UEFA Champions League fixtures.”

However the rest of the strip is awful. I don’t like the trim/accent color. According to SoccerBible, the color is neon red but the official website calls it an orange pop. Call it what you will, but A) it looks terrible and B) it clashes with the “real” read that adidas used for the home shirt. The color makes the club badge look garbled. I saw the shirt in the flesh at a recent United Watch Party, and the badge still looks terrible and I’m still undecided on the trim color. It’s not red and it’s not orange. I’ve decided on highlighter red but it can look orange depending on the light.

utd 3rd strip

(Photo courtesy of Football Fashion)

Then there’s the shorts. They look cheap and I’m not sure why the three stripes decided a two tone fade look was a good idea. It makes the shorts look cheap and they have done this with Juventus and Chelsea as well and none of them work for me. Due to the transition on the shorts, the strip is finished off with white socks, which is a miss for me. Bring back the days of the all black kit!!

A better choice for this strip would have been white trim and white monochromatic logo. White socks might have worked with that. Oh well. I’ll just throw this in the trash with the tire track shirt from a couple of years ago.

All in all a good first effort from Adidas. I really liked the use of the trident in the promotional materials. Seems like they don’t do enough with the Red Devil nickname.

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