We’ve done the home kits, now here are the away strips.

Kit manufacturers tend to play it safe with their clubs’ first-choice shirts, knowing people generally want the comfort of the familiar. But with the away kits they are granted a little more licence, the opportunity to be slightly avant garde and, as you might already be aware, some of them have grasped that opportunity with both hands.

Read on, for speculation about which club timed their away-kit release to coincide with the Barbie film, who has the shirt of a northern haulage firm and whose shirt caused your kit reviewer to have an existential crisis…


New signing, new shirt – as modelled by Declan Rice (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The very definition of a room-splitter. But in this case it would appear that the room is not so much divided 50:50, more like 90:10. Well, that’s the case on the internet at least — this neon effort was actually pretty well represented at Arsenal’s pre-season games, so perhaps the IRL Arsenal fanbase are actually more keen on it. All that said, it does still look like the fire marshal at work has just grabbed their hi-vis bib and scrawled on it with a permanent marker. It’s different, so some credit must be given for that… but as the bigger boys at school made clear to the dweebs they were stuffing into a bin, different is sometimes bad.

Ready to broadcast Islington’s finest to the world 📻

Introducing the new Arsenal x @adidasFootball 23/24 Men’s Team away kit 👇

— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 18, 2023

Rating: 5/10

Aston Villa

Moussa Diaby sports the new Villa away strip (Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Really not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, this will just look like a plain white shirt from a distance, which is fine, if not especially imaginative. On the other, the background pattern appears to be Villa’s badge but cut up into many pieces then sort of vaguely pieced back together again. It’s a bit like a scrambled Rubik’s Cube that, if you twist bits of Ollie Watkins’s torso this way and that, you’ll eventually get the full picture. More basically than that, though: it just looks a bit weird.

The 2023/24 Aston Villa away kit will make its first outing in Landover this afternoon. 👌 #PLSummerSeries

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 30, 2023

Rating: 5


Yes, that’s the stuff. Apparently this design is based on the concept of Bournemouth ‘making waves’, and you can see what they’re going for there. Another interpretation is that it looks like a series of giant overlapping fingerprints, like the sort of thing you might see in the titles sequence of a crime thriller featuring a mercurial loner as a detective who nobody listens to, but cracks the case in the end. Whatever the inspiration, it’s a beaut of a design, and the only real problem I can make out is that Umbro might have done themselves over by not making their own logo stand out enough.

Milos Kerkez x away kit 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/bsocYuJRPB

— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) July 20, 2023

Rating: 9


Bryan Mbeumo in action with the continuing away kit (Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Brentford, good eggs that they are, are not releasing a new away kit this year having announced last summer that the lovely turquoise-y number they sported for 2022-23 will do them nicely for 2023-24, too. It’s not just a good moral move, but they probably gain more in the admittedly intangible realm of PR than they would in shirt sales, given that the number of people who actually buy both new shirts every season is probably pretty small. As for the shirt, it’s great, a delightful colour and clean design. Well done all round.

Our new second kit, inspired by our away shirts of the 80s and 90s and featuring the castle crest, will be worn for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons.#BrentfordFC pic.twitter.com/yq1K8tbUhN

— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) July 22, 2022

Rating: 8


Bang! Brighton coming through with the one-two punch, with this absolute delight offsetting their excellent home kit rather nicely. This is a nod to the change strip in 2012-13, rather than manager Roberto De Zerbi having recommended that Brighton dress up like his former team Sassuolo. Well, that’s the official line anyway: maybe De Zerbi was sticking his nose in at Umbro HQ, and because he’s the boss they didn’t feel they could say no, regardless of how silly the idea is. Like one of those captains of industry insisting their idiot child gets a place on the board, or Caligula appointing his favourite horse as a magistrate. Just like that, only in this case the idea is actually a good one.

Green and black is BACK. 💚🖤 Introducing our 2023/24 @NikeFootball away kit! ⚡️

— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) July 7, 2023

Rating: 8


Hjalmar Ekdal celebrates with Dara O’Shea and tbe Burnley team during pre-season (Photo: Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Burnley have won great praise for their esoteric signing announcement videos on social media, which have included references to such cultural hot topics as the Teletubbies and The Italian Job. I’m sure it’s all very imaginative, but I don’t really get it myself: nor do I get this shirt, which they seem to be marketing as… beach wear? Perhaps this is a sign of age, that I no longer get ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is. I used to be with it , but then they changed what it was and now what I’m with isn’t it. Maybe Burnley are it and I’ve just been left behind. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

All set to go 😎 pic.twitter.com/2CC7pNH4tq

— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) July 25, 2023

Rating: 5


_At the time of writing, Chelsea were yet to release their away kit, or any alternate jersey at all. Maybe they were finalising the eight-year amortisation of the shirt cost or something. Anyway, we’ll update this when they finally get round to it. _

Rating: ?

Crystal Palace

Joel Ward stars in a stripe (Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Very lovely indeed, at complete odds with the dud that is their home shirt. There should be more sashes in football shirt design: the Peru national team, too infrequently seen on the world stage from a simply aesthetic point of view, are the market leaders here, but Palace have always done well with them. The other details are great too, from the collar to the sleeve, so hats off to the much-maligned Macron for pulling this one out of the bag.

Closer inspection 🔍 pic.twitter.com/1Xjv3BU67h

— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) July 11, 2023

Rating: 8


As mentioned in the Burnley section, your creaking old kit reviewer is old, old, old. So old that I can not only remember a time known as ‘the 1990s’, but look back upon it with a degree of what is probably undue and exaggerated reverence. Which begs the question: is this Everton away kit actually good, or have they successfully tapped into the warm and fuzzy nostalgia section of my synapses and have just fooled me with this recreation of Everton’s 1992-94 change strip? Do I actually like it, or am I just closing my eyes and thinking of a simpler time, when my life was ahead of me and Paul Rideout was doing his thing in this salmon and blue number? We might never know.

A 90s remix 💿

Presenting our 2023/24 @hummel1923 away kit – order online now or available in store from July 28! pic.twitter.com/2g48LoeNks

— Everton (@Everton) July 21, 2023

Rating: 8


Yyyyyyyyyyyowsers. Bold. Very bold. Is bold good? Sometimes. Not always. Here’s the crucial question though: do you think Fulham deliberately planned this kit launch to coincide with the release of the Barbie movie? We have of course known that Greta Gerwig’s opus has been coming for quite a while, and the lead-in time for football kits tends to be about a year… so, it’s possible. Do you think they also got Harry Wilson to die his hair blond so he looked a bit like Ken? It feels unlikely, but you do what you gotta do to make an impression and ride the zeitgeist these days.

Making a splash in away day essentials. 🏖️ pic.twitter.com/BlhHczaliL

— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) August 1, 2023

Rating: 7 (if the Barbie thing is just a coincidence – 10 if it isn’t)



Harry Wilson interview: ‘Barbie’, the Saudi threat – and how Fulham push on


10 for the 10? Mac Allister sports the strip against Leicester in pre-season (Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 1990s nostalgia era feels like it’s coming to a close a bit, but Liverpool are keeping it going here with this marvellous quartered shirt, the greens and the whites being a reference to/copy of their 1995-96 kit. This sort of looks like that kit, as reimagined by a small child with some finger paints — but to be clear that’s not a criticism. Maybe Nike should employ some small children with finger paints, if this is the result. There might be some issues with labour laws, but we’re sure they can get around that.

The official LFC Nike 23/24 Away Kit is OUT NOW. Get yours today!

— Liverpool FC Retail (@LFCRetail) July 7, 2023

Rating: 8

Luton Town

What do we think of away kits that are basically the same as the home ones but with the colours flipped? Lazy or nice as a sort of companion piece? Tricky one, isn’t it? Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe I’m overthinking these things. Maybe I take kits far too seriously. They do tend to consume me in late July/early August. Maybe I should be doing something else with my life. Anyway, minor existential crises aside, this one is pretty good, slightly unusual hexagonal collar that nevertheless works, nice and clean. Nothing to get too excited about, but broadly fine. The kit, that is, not my state of mind.

Next stop: Wolves (A) 🫡@ryangiles7 #COYH pic.twitter.com/3frzvq6U9T

— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) August 2, 2023

Rating: 7

Manchester City

Striking: Haaland scores against Burnley (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

‘The 2023-24 Man City Away Kit celebrates the industrious beating heart of Manchester and the people who make it happen, the city’s grafters and crafters,’ reads the blurb, highlighting the diamond patterns on the background of this shirt as ‘an archival weave pattern and colours that honour the city’s creative heritage.’ All of which is fine, and to a point the club can’t win with this sort of thing — either they’re ignoring the club’s community heritage or they’re being accused of paying it lip service. But the sparkling gold Etihad logo that dominates the shirt is just a reminder that you can use all the archival weave patterns you like, this club has never been further from its community heritage. Still, nice shirt.

Celebrating the city of Manchester! 🐝

— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 10, 2023

Rating: 7

Manchester United

Garnach-no? The forward in the kit during the pre-season match against Real Madrid (David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Oh crumbs. Well, erm, let’s give Adidas some credit for coming up with something a little different, but…oh crumbs. Not great, is it? It sort of looks like the livery for a northern English haulage company — called something like JP Thalthwaites, a working-class lad who started out delivering bread in the 1970s and eventually built the whole thing up to a fleet of trucks that operate from Chorley to as far east as Glossop. For any American/non-UK readers, those actually are real place names. Anyway, we applaud the intent to be different, but not the results, alas.

Clean 👌#MUFC   @adidasFootball pic.twitter.com/njnQYa9XyU

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 24, 2023

Rating: 4

Newcastle United

Matt Ritchie parades the kit against Brighton in the Summer Series (Howard Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Ah, well. Here again. The away kit rankings last season got a bit of heat for bemoaning the brazenness of Newcastle’s kit connecting them with Saudi Arabia, a nation that they of course insist does not control the club, and the message that sends. But it’s unavoidable: kits can be good fun, a bit of frippery, but they’re also the most visible expression of a club’s identity, so by going with the green of Saudi again there’s little doubt that this is a statement. And that’s even before you consider the sponsor’s logo bang in the middle of it, a company called Sela that is also majority owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. Strip the context away and the shirt is quite nice, but you can’t really strip the context away, in this case.

Here to compete. 🟢#NUFC’s 2023/24 away kit is now available to purchase both in-store and online!

— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 30, 2023

Aesthetic, context-stripped rating: 7

Context rating: 1

Nottingham Forest

Stretching in style: Gibbs-White in Forest’s away kit (NESimages/Marcel ter Bals/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

As excellent as the home shirt is dull and staid. It’s a blue-and-white-striped shirt reimagined through the prism of the bits in cartoons where they go to some sort of dream sequence and the screen goes all wavy. Which, again, is the sort of thing that sounds like a criticism but it definitely isn’t. When you’re trying something different there’s always the danger, as a few other kits in this article have proved, of going too out there and it just looking horrible, but this hits the sweet spot.

Making waves 🌊

Officially introducing our 2023/24 away shirt.#NFFC /// @adidasfootball pic.twitter.com/M9vp0sbIyO

— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) July 14, 2023

Rating: 8

Sheffield United

Well, it’s a Watford shirt, isn’t it? No way of getting around that. Specifically a Watford shirt from the late 1990s/early 2000s. You can just imagine Tommy Mooney lumbering around Vicarage Road in this, being yelled at by Graham Taylor from the touchline. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not very good. In fact, it really is very good. It’s fairly simple and clean, but the colour combination means it doesn’t really have to have much else going on. Nice collar, nice sleeve detail, nice nice nice. But still: Watford.

Rating: 8

Acting debut for Bash! 🎭 pic.twitter.com/nElwumKU0m

— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) August 4, 2023

Tottenham Hotspur

Nice one, Son: The Spurs skipper congratulates Royal (Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Tottenham were supposed to be unveiling their new away kit on the morning after they accepted a bid from Bayern Munich for Harry Kane, but plans were rapidly pushed back with strong ‘not now, lads’ vibes swirling around White Hart Lane. Which is a bit of a shame, because this is pretty nice, the dark blue set off quite nicely with the lighter blue/purple and white trim. Apparently, it is “inspired by Tottenham’s vibrant music scene and streetwear culture”, although it’s not really clear how and is where you would prefer that kit manufacturers just kept things simple without pretending there is a loftier reason for choosing this design. It’s just a nice kit lads, leave it there.

Destiny 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/fMcYzLVLB6

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 13, 2023

Rating: 7

West Ham United

Paqueta West Ham Bournemouth

Fallen for it? Paqueta against Bournemouth (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Oh, come on. The club are trying to sell this as a sort of back-to-basics, ‘this is the essence of West Ham’ thing, but ‘white-ing out’ the club crest and the manufacturers’ logo, while having the sponsor in bold black, just makes it look like a Betway promotional T-shirt. The sort of thing they might hand out at a train station to celebrate the opening of a new branch. If you’re going to do the ‘absolutely basic, white all over, clean and classic’ thing then do it like Hearts, with the only colour being the club logo. But not this.

Rating: 4

This is our style. This is our craft.

This is the West Ham Way.

Introducing our 2023/24 Away kit.

— West Ham United (@WestHam) July 22, 2023


You don’t get many red away kits, do you? Wimbledon had one in the 1990s. West Brom have done it. Manchester City have occasionally gone for a red-and-black striped vibe. England, of course. But you don’t see it very often. It’s particularly weird that Wolves have gone for it, given their only direct colour clash will be with Luton so the only other times they might have to wear it would be when they play… a team in red. Odd stuff all round. Anyway, the shirt is OK, very ‘Portugal’ which isn’t going to be an accident, reasonable background pattern, etc. But… yeah, a bit odd.

Away days ✊

Presenting our new away kit for 2023/24!

Shop now 👉 https://t.co/ryQGDCB8o4 pic.twitter.com/4mCbLuRCH4

— Wolves (@Wolves) June 22, 2023

Rating: 7

(Top image: Getty Images; design by John Bradford)