Chelsea have finally unveiled their new home kit ahead of the 2022/23 season – and fans are split down the middle about its controversial design.
There is only one month to go until Thomas Tuchel’s men begin the new campaign away at Everton, meaning their kit launch has come a lot later than usual – likely a result of the recent change of ownership at Stamford Bridge.
Just over four weeks before that opener on Merseyside, the Blues have released their strip, designed by kit manufacturers Nike, for the upcoming season, which pays homage to legendary former boss Ted Drake.
While the base colour is a fairly standard royal blue, it also features a striking turquoise and white lion collar as a tribute to Drake on the 70th anniversary of his iconic appointment as manager.
The ex-Arsenal and England forward, who passed away in 1995, guided Chelsea to their first ever top-flight title back in 1955, as well as revolutionising the club by changing their nickname from ‘the Pensioners’ to ‘the Blues’.
Drake’s long-standing moniker is therefore included in the detailing on the buttons of the opinion-dividing collar, which is also a reference to the club great.
The collar is a nod towards another of his historic tweaks in west London; switching the club’s badge from an image of a Chelsea Pensioner to a ‘lion rampant regardant’.
That crest has stood the test of time, meaning the lion features on the Henley neckline in turquoise.
Despite the inspiration behind it, though, Chelsea supporters are well and truly divided over their new home kit.
Some Blues fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment, with one writing: ‘This is one of the worst kits we’ve ever had’.
Another posted: ‘Nike hate us’.
A third wrote: ‘Love Chelsea but the kit is s****’.
However, not all of the Chelsea faithful were left unhappy with the design, with others waxing lyrical about it ahead of the new season.
One wrote: ‘Best one for a while’.
Another put: ‘This kit’s growing on me, this is class’.
While one simply commented: ‘Beautiful’.
Chelsea kickoff the new campaign away at Everton on August 6, before taking on Tottenham in their opening home fixture one week later.