Manchester United have reunited with Roy Keane to announce their new third kit. Manufactured by Adidas, the new shirt – off-white in colour, with red detailing – is inspired by the away and alternate kits from United’s first FA Cup-winning season in 1908-09.
As reported by The Athletic in May, this kit removes the traditional club crest — a permanent fixture since the 1970s — in favour of a new more minimal, design consisting solely of the red devil that is part of the full badge. It is completed with Adidas’ familiar three stripes along the shoulders and a red ribbed crew-neck collar.
It’s too late to say no.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 8, 2023
IT service company Team Viewer remains the front-of-shirt sponsor, despite United agreeing an early termination of that deal. Their inclusion comes in a red variant of their logo that matches the new badge and the kit’s other detailing.
Former club captain Keane’s involvement in a short film for the launch of the strip represents his first formal appearance in any media connected with United since he left the club via mutual consent as a player in November 2005.
Adidas led the campaign but United were involved and had sign-off on the advertisement.
Read more about Roy Keane on The Athletic:
“Manchester United and Adidas are proud to work with Roy Keane, one of the club’s most iconic and popular former players,” read a joint statement by club and manufacturer. “Roy won 17 trophies with Manchester United, his fearless playing style and never give up attitude has earned him a special place in the hearts of Manchester United fans around the world.”
In the video – shared on social media on Tuesday morning – Keane asks current United players Marcus Rashford, Casemiro and Ella Toone if they have what it takes to be a true red devil. To create the video, Keane was first approached by Adidas for his input, including that of a joke involving prawn sandwiches, a reference to his infamous remark from his playing days about a certain faction of supporters.
“For this season’s third kit, the 1909 jersey was the catalyst for that inspiration – which also provided the perfect backdrop to amplify the club’s famous identity – the red devil,” said Adidas design director Inigo Turner – who has designed multiple United kits since 2015-16.
“This design is intentionally understated, taking its cues from present-day streetwear trends, with its cloud-white background carefully chosen to let the red devil shine and inspire fire on the pitch. We know the importance of this identity to the Manchester United fanbase and we’re proud to give fans a design that is just as much at home on the streets, as it is on the pitch.”
The alternate kit, with prices starting at £80 for an adult replica, will most likely be featured in United’s Champions League away fixtures during the coming season. European football governing body UEFA’s equipment guidelines state every team must provide one dark-coloured kit and one classified as light. Footballing bodies also urge clubs to use an away kit that is to the opposite classification of their home strip whenever possible, to help with colour contrast on TV broadcasts.
Recent European campaigns have seen United’s red home kit designated as dark. In 2020-21, the olive-green away shirt – not dissimilar in shade to the club’s latest effort – also fell under that classification. As such, expect this new alternate kit to be used in away games against teams with darker colour home shirts.
United will learn their three Champions League opponents on August 31, when they feature in pot two of the group-stage draw.
(Top photo: Manchester United FC)