We’re going to be entering year three of fifteen (15!) in Nike’s £60m per year kit deal with Chelsea — it’ll probably be renegotiated well before the end, although it’s still on par with Manchester City’s brand new deal with Puma and only lags behind Manchester United’s deal with adidas (£75m/year) — and the jury’s still on out on the US sports giant’s shirt designs.
The first year featured a minimalist, simple, classic design, inspired by the solid blues of the 1970s. It was playing things a bit safe, but at the end of the day, a Chelsea home shirt needs to be a classic royal blue and little else. The away kit was a simple white while the third kit featured a slightly played out urban camo pattern. A solid debut season.
For this year’s kit, Nike looked to the 1980s for inspiration, with less convincing results, to say the least. The less said about the home shirt and its sparse, random red and white half-stripes, the better. On the plus side, a yellow away shirt is always welcome and the third kit had a couple cool ideas even if it fell way short of living up to the tangerine dream of the mid-80s (not nearly enough orange, although the socks were great).
So what’s in store from Nike for year three?
LEAKED: Chelsea 19-20 Home Shorts: https://t.co/YJ4g6OBvWZ— Footy Headlines (@Footy_Headlines) March 21, 2019
Footy Headlines are once again leading the way with kit leaks, and their sources claim a solid blue home top (same as two years ago), but with “darker blue elements” likely to be a faded graphic of the stadium itself. FH are guessing that Nike could be using the ‘90s for inspiration this time around (would fit the pattern), a decade which produced all sorts of garish designs like Manchester United’s massive-collared home shirt of 1994-96 by Umbro, which featured a faded picture of Old Trafford on the body of the shirt.
As usual, Chelsea’s home shirt is based on one of Nike’s templates, supposedly the one they’re also using for Boca Juniors (among others, undoubtedly). Boca’s 2019-20 home shirt features a contrast collar and a contrast trim on the sleeves, both of which would be firsts for Nike at Chelsea. Based on the color palette, the accent pieces should be white or maybe white with a little bit of red.
The shorts will be all blue, complemented as usual by white socks, with blue and red trim, according to the leak.
Chelsea’s iconic ‘Coors’ and ‘Autoglass’ shirts of the mid-90s, the one with the fat white collars, come to mind as examples for Nike to possibly follow in this case. The 1995 home shirt even had the darker design element on the body, though it was the lion from the modernized badge rather than the stadium.
Earlier leaks claimed that next year’s away shirts will go back to plain white (with matching white shorts and blue socks), while the third kit is expected another (reddish?) orange-accented number, which has already been done to near perfection by adidas back in 2010-11.