Ranking the Worst Premier League Kits of All Time

Stephen FennellCorrespondent IJune 22, 2012

Ranking the Worst Premier League Kits of All Time

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    Oscar Wilde once said, "Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."

    For a man who died in 1900, he seemed to have an uncanny ability to predict the future of terrible Premier League jerseys.

    Throughout the history of the league, there have been some gaudy, ill-fitting and downright nauseating home and away kits.

    In the case of the 10 on show here, the sole focus of their design seems to be distracting the opposition.

    In the case of Manchester United's famous grey strip, however, it only distracted themselves.

    Like art, not everyone will be in agreement, but as you flick from jersey to jersey, remember that players had to wear these and fans actually paid money for them.

    Sunglasses at the ready—it's about to get bright and colourful.

10. Manchester City Away 1994-96

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    This Manchester City kit may not have been too offensive had they omitted the completely out-of-place meshed-white strips on either shoulder.

    We are talking about a club that appointed Alan Ball as their manager, so it's safe to say that Francis Lee's judgement wasn't too great at the time.

    Umbro features here as the perpetrator of another bad football kit during the middle of the 1990s.

    Manchester City fans will be happy that the jersey is the main thing remembered from an period that saw them begin the '95-96 season without a win in their first 11 games.

    Even a good jersey wouldn't have saved them from relegation that season.

    Oh brother.

9. Liverpool Away 1994-96

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    How many crests can you fit onto one Premier League football jersey?

    I don't know the exact answer, but Liverpool put the question to Adidas when they asked them to design this tribute to mustard kit.

    A horrible shade of yellow coupled with countless, varying-sized crests ensured that this kit would always make it onto this list.

    For balance, I would have thought that the ''LFC'' would feature on both collars, but apparently not.

    Liverpool did finish third and reached the FA Cup final in 1995-96, so the jersey may have been a lucky charm for them.

    Sadly for their fans and players, they looked awful sporting this best forgotten strip.

8. Coventry City Away 1992-94

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    This jersey gave Coventry City players the look of a Caucasian in a hot country who didn't apply their sun cream evenly.

    There's nothing that can be said to justify this assault on the eyes, and it only adds to the long list of adventurously unforgiving kits that were produced in the early to mid '90s.

    There seems to be no consistency to the design, and I'm struggling to understand where the designers were trying to go with this one.

    This strip was only in action for two years and didn't feature as frequently as opposing fans wished it had, but it takes pride of place in this top 10.

7. Leeds Away 1992-93

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    The year previous to the release of this jersey, Leeds United were crowned champions of the old First Division in England.

    You would have hoped that the Yorkshire club would have intentionally created a kit that was worthy of champions.

    Instead, they went and created this blue monstrosity.

    I'm not 100 percent sure what they were trying to achieve with this. It looks like a blue jersey that an old '90s printer spat on.

    I wouldn't doubt for a second that was the actual method they used to create this.

    Eric Cantona left Leeds United for Manchester United after the 1992 season.

    I wonder if he'd seen this in the pipeline?

6. Norwich City Home 1992-94

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    No list would be complete without proudly displaying a Norwich home kit that, amazingly, was kept for three seasons.

    It will be forever known as ''The Bird Poo Kit,'' so it gives you a fair insight into how the kit was received.

    Fortunately, Umbro are not at fault for this, though I will investigate if designers Ribero are in any way linked to the primary culprits of this list.

    Norwich finished third in the Premier League with this kit and qualified for Europe.

    Unfortunately, not even great players like Ruel Fox, Mark Robins or Chris Sutton could make the wearing of this eyesore look acceptable.

5. Aston Villa Away 1993-95

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    It's quite conclusive that in the history of Premier League jerseys, this rightfully belongs in a list of the top-10 worst.

    There doesn't seem to be one attractive thing about it. Red and black is a classic when combined together, but the addition of green to the mix just makes it look confused.

    Add the purple, blue and yellow of the crest, and you have something that can only be deemed visually offensive.

    Ironically, the eventual sponsor of this jersey was ''Muller," which is a yoghurt company. I can't say too many people had an appetite after watching this kit for 90 minutes.

4. Tottenham Hotspur Away 1991-93

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    Spurs make their first and only appearance here, though their dull and depressing brown kit from 2006-07 almost made the list.

    Instead, we've gone for another Umbro design with a jersey that made be sure to remind both the players and opposition fans which team was the owner of this kit.

    If the crest, sponsor or colour didn't make it obvious, then surely the unforgivable and badly etched ''SPURS'' would.

    It's bargain-bin tacky at its best, and as with most of the jerseys on the list, it came from the fine people at Umbro in the 1990s.

    Note to self: Try to find out if one person was responsible for all these designs and get him/her a spot on Joan Rivers' Fashion Police show.

3. Chelsea Away 1994-96

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    Orange, grey, white, navy. I'm glad it ends there and there were no other colours added to this kit by the designers.

    Sadly for Chelsea players and fans alike, somebody decided to create and commission this, and it was worn from 1994 to 1996.

    Visually it's a mess, with dividing oranges lines and patterns ranging from smooth to striped and back to smooth again on the sleeves.

    When I first saw this upon its release, I thought it was the winning selection from a kids' competition to design a Premier League jersey.

    Upon seeing it again now, my opinion hasn't changed.

2. Arsenal Away 1991-93

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    It's a sure thing that you would recognise your teammates if they were wearing this terrible Arsenal away kit that was introduced in 1991.

    I'm surprised it stayed on the back of the players for so long, as its design is shocking—the yellow is too dull, and the the whole thing seems confused.

    There is too much going on, but at least the design lines accurately reflected their form at the time: constantly up and down.

1. Manchester United 1996

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    It was never in doubt that the most controversial kit of the Premier League was going to feature here, and its tumultuous shelf life has seen it crowned the worst jersey in PL history.

    The incident which brought about the demise was in 1996, as Manchester United trailed Southampton 3-0 at half-time.

    Alex Ferguson forced his players to change strip and blamed the grey tone for the team's performance, claiming the players were camouflaged on the pitch by blending into the fans in the background.

    United still lost the game, and the kit was subsequently withdrawn after only five games, of which the team lost four.