‘Don’t let your 5 year old design them next time,’ aggrieved commentators complain on Twitter
German sportswear giant Puma unveiled its new range of third kits for some of Europe’s biggest clubs on Wednesday, including Manchester City, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Marseille, Valencia, PSV Eindhoven, Shakhtar Donetsk and Fenerbahce.
All 10 designs unveiled follow roughly the same format, with the teams’ names written out across the chest in place of the customary club crest, with the Puma logo above and the sponsor’s branding below.
The badge instead makes up the pattern of the fabric.
“The third kit is the shirt where we really want to go out there and show what we can do, show something different that has not been seen yet,” Puma designer Ulrich Planer said of the range.
“We wanted to do something that, at least in the European market, has not been done in such a bold statement. From far away, you can still see that this is a Man City shirt.”
While few would disagree with that last statement, the range drew instant derision from fans commenting under Puma’s post on Twitter.
“Shocking all of them, don’t let your 5 year old design them next time,” wrote one Twitter commentator.
“This is the worst design I’ve ever seen to be passed off as an official game kit,” said another. “If you charge full pop for this, you should be ashamed of yourselves – this is the type of cloth I’d buy in the discount bin.”
“Without doubt the worst kit template in the history of football. Like something a kid would come up with,” said one more. “Glad my club ain’t involved in this pish.”
Many commentators declared the shirts looked cheap, too much like ordinary cotton T-shirts or like “rip off training tops you would buy from the local market”.
Memes were particularly brutally deployed to satirise the launch, with Football Ramble opting for the familiar Spider-Man cartoon and another user likening the situation to the classic 1991 Simpsons episode “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” in which Homer is ill-advisedly given free rein to design his own car.
When the City shirts – modelled by Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Jess Park and £100m summer signing Jack Grealish – were promoted on the club’s own Twitter page, one particularly brutal comment derided the team’s “dare to be different” slogan by pointing out that the goalkeeper’s top modelled by Ederson looked extremely similar to the new PSV third kit.
The defending Premier League champions got off to a poor start to the new season on Sunday when they lost 1-0 to Tottenham and risk losing out on signing Spurs striker Harry Kane as chairman Daniel Levy continues to drive a hard bargain, insisting on the player’s £150m price tag being met.
Puma are not the only ones coming under fire for their questionable shirt styles, however.