Football kit launches used to be sedate affairs.
Players dressed in the new strip stood proudly with a foot on the ball and if you were really lucky, someone wearing the away kit or a tracksuit.
Now, kits are leaked, debated over, leaked again and officially launched - often accompanied with images of players looking like they are about to attack you in a badly-lit subway.
The latest example of a kit creating a storm is currently taking place in Italy where the new Juventus design by adidas was greeted with howls of derision and sparked a mass frenzy of people tweeting IN CAPITAL LETTERS because that’s what you do when you’re really angry.
Forever linked with the iconic black and white stripes thanks to an endlessly endearing relationship with Notts County, Juventus are abandoning tradition to in favour of black and white halves next season with a think pink stripe down the middle making it look like a liquorice allsort.
“This is an abomination and a cry for attention” protested @KitCrimes on Twitter. “Clubs/suppliers have backed themselves into a corner by changing two or three kits every 12 months, they’re running out of ideas so are becoming more radical.”
Juventus famously changed their logo a couple of seasons ago so they won’t be afraid of some collateral damage when making such a big change.
Tinkering with tradition is always a dangerous thing to do. There was gnashing of teeth when Manchester United wore black shorts this season instead of white and socks than were black and red rather than red, white and black. And don't even start on that pink away shirt.
Barcelona are reportedly going to be wearing a Croatia-style checkerboard shirt next season which proves Nike are just as willing as adidas to throw the cards in the air and see what happens. Paris Saint-Germain's current shirt is a far cry from its original design while Watford will start next term wearing yellow and black halves. Striking a balance between tradition and commercial potential is virtually impossible when, as KitCrimes argues, there is the appetite to release new kits every single season.
For many, Juventus’ simple black and white stripes of the 1980s as worn by the likes of Michel Platini remains one of the all-time classics. Into the 1990s, Kappa and later Lotto would modify the width of the stripes, bring in a new collar but wouldn’t dare come up with anything as fundamentally different as adidas have dreamt up for next season.
History has shown that shirts which at the time were seen as radically different have taken on a life of their own as a classic. It’s hard to believe that Manchester United’s green and yellow halved shirt is now held up as one of the club’s great designs though at the time it went down like a lead balloon.
For that reason, the Juventus shirt of next season will become a collector’s item - a memory of when the famous Turin club broke so emphatically with tradition. Teams like Liverpool, Celtic and the Milan clubs have all been able to introduce subtle changes to well-loved designs but this Juventus shirt may well be a step too far.
Clubs/suppliers have backed themselves into a corner by changing 2 or 3 kits every 12 months, they're running out of ideas so are becoming more radical.
MUFC's black shorts and red socks, Watford in stripes, Barcelona in hoops...