New sponsorship rules could ruin Premier League kits forever
It was bound to happen at some point.
Liverpool were the first top flight club in English football to have a kit sponsor, back in 1979.
They agreed a £100,000 tw0-year deal with Hitachi, but were only allowed to wear the branded shirts in non-televised games, and not at all in either Europe or the FA Cup.
Since then, corporate sponsors on shirts have not only become the norm but are almost fetishised by way of nostalgia. Retro shirts are remembered as fondly for the name on the front than the actual vintage or design. Arsenal fans recall JVC kits with fondness, Man United fan adore the old Sharp shirts.
But the era of one single sponsor sitting proudly on a Premier League football shirt is over. The Mirror report that from next season, clubs have been given the go-ahead to have sponsors on their sleeves as well as chest.
"The shirt sleeve used to feature the Premier League logo and title sponsor. But the decision was made to do away with the title sponsor - most recently Barclays - from the start of this term. The Premier logo will still feature on the left sleeve with the advertising on the right."
It's the first extra sponsor allowed on English top-flight kits in nearly 40 years and could swell club coffers by as much as £10m-a-year. Perhaps it's the start of F1 style advertising everywhere as footballers become walking billboards.
A new era is coming...