Premier League kits are a big talking point in the build up to the season, especially when dreadful ones revealed. This season the best Premier League shirts have received almost universal praise but the worst efforts have really lowered the bar.
Arguably the stand out worst kit this season has now arrived courtesy of Manchester United who released the Adidas monstrosity. The black and white striped look can be very effective, Newcastle are testament to that, but this particular kit has been compared to a zebra. Not in a good way. So where does the kit sit within our list of the five worst Premier League kits of all time?
Worst Premier League kits ever
5) Norwich City – Home (1992-1994)
The Canaries have struggled over the years to put together stellar kits due to a difficult yellow and green colour scheme. However their 1992-94 effort was a dreadful attempt at a home shirt.
So bad was it that the strip was nicknamed the ‘bird poo’ shirt and it’s clear to see why. The traditional yellow shirt is splattered in green and white splodges, hence the nickname. Sadly for Norwich, this wasn’t where the embarrassment ended as their away kit that season was the inverted version of the home strip Once you hear it referred to as a bird poo kit it makes it very difficult to unsee it.
Norwich City’s infamous ‘Bird Poo’ kit, 1992/93. pic.twitter.com/7PAFgsARlv
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) May 9, 2015
4) Middlesbrough – Away (1996/97)
Boro were a solid side back in 1996, with the ‘streets won’t forget’ icon Juninho pulling on the red home shirt every week and scoring some sensational free-kicks; however, you can only imagine the disgruntlement on the Brazilians face when he had to put on one of the worst Premier League kits ever seen away from home.
The white shirt is masked with an oversized cross made up of dreadful blue pattern, looking like a 1980’s bathroom tile or a Wetherspoons plate. However, that isn’t where the flaws end. Over the sleeve there is block text reading ‘BORO’. This could have been a nice touch had it not been blue writing on top of the blue pattern and in a text art-esque font. Definitely one to forget.
Today’s shirt is Middlesbrough away, 1996/97 by Errea 😀 pic.twitter.com/6oDrM7dMEC
— Frogman82 (@ShirtsofNeil) August 2, 2020
3) Nottingham Forest – Away (1995-1997)
Forest have had their fair share of bad kits over the years but none can beat the away kit they revealed in 1995. The shirt is nice shade of yellow and has sponsor ‘Labatts’ printed on the front in red which contrasts well but, sadly, that is where the positives end as, over both shoulders, are sketches from what look like a comic book artist’s scrapbook.
You could argue that the thought was there and a better design could have pulled the look off. However, the images are printed over a grid which makes them messy to the point of barely being visible. The random speech bubbles and bizarre shadings certainly make this Umbro’s worst ever kit and one of the worst strips the English top-flight has ever seen.
Closer Look: Unsponsored 1995-96 Nottingham Forest away by Umbro
— Classic Football Shirts (@classicshirts) March 23, 2017
2) Manchester United – Third (2020/21)
And here it is, this season’s entry and undoubtedly one of the worst Premier League kits we’ve ever seen. The zebra can’t quite clinch the top spot but is a close and deserved second. The black, white and red shirt is supposed to commemorate 110 years at Old Trafford. It probably better encapsulates the last eight years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired – disjointed, unstructured and calamitous.
What makes the kit worse is the fact the shorts are identical to the shirt. A simple pair of black shorts may have softened how intense the design of the top is. However, identical shorts draw even more attention to the horrendous design, especially with a pair of hideous socks that don’t match and look a slightly different design to everything else!
This shirt certainly isn’t what a team wanting to regain its top level status would want to be wearing.
Manchester United’s third kit has officially arrived 🦓 pic.twitter.com/qaIHd0bZgU
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 8, 2020
1) Liverpool – Third (2013/14)
The Reds have had some top kits over the years, especially their neat and simple home shirts. However, their third kit from the 2013/14 season is anything but neat and simple. The black shirt has a lower left white panel that is bleached with a random selection of grey diamonds with a mirror of that design on the opposite side in black and purple. The colours don’t match at all and leave the strip looking incredibly odd, especially with the white shorts and black socks with white hoops and purple tops.
A real mismatch of colours, designs and all things that you wouldn’t want your kit to be. Designers Warrior also decided that there clearly wasn’t enough purple on the kit, slapping it on one sleeve to round off a shirt that is incredibly hard to look at for more than a few minutes. It really isn’t surprising to hear that they lasted as Liverpool’s kit manufacturer for just three years. A deserving first place on our list of the worst Premier League kits ever… so far.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 4, 2013
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