FA step back from ‘wet kit’ controversy

Written by on 4th October 2023

The Football Association has distanced itself from Newcastle United kit supplier Castore’s ‘wet kit’ controversy, saying shirt choices are a matter for clubs.

Following reports of Aston Villa players complaining the ‘wet look’ kits were adding unnecessary weight and impacting performances, the Midlands club made a complaint to the kit supplier last week.

TV and radio commentator Jacqui Oatley put pressure on Castore to rectify the issue by the time Villa’s Women team played their WSL match at home to Manchester United at the weekend. However, Villa walked out in their home kit for the season opener.

Posting on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, she asked

“Has anyone considered how the @AVWFCOfficial women’s players are going to feel playing in these clingy wet-look shirts?” – “They’re live on BBC.”

A spokesperson for the FA would not be drawn into a discussion on changing guidelines for kits, telling Spark:

“As guidance, this is a matter for the club and their kit provider in the first instance.”

When pressed on whether the FA was looking into adopting a national best practice for kits the spokesperson added:

“The materials that kits are made of are under the decision of individual clubs.”

Castore is a Manchester-based sports clothing brand established in 2015. Among its shareholders is former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who is also supplied by the company.

Premier League football clubs Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers are also supplied by Castore, while Daily Mail has reported that Everton are set to announce Castore as their supplier for next season.

Newcastle confirmed in September that they would be supplied by Adidas from the 2024/25 season, but the club denied rumours that their contract with Castore was ended early as a result of “quality”.

A club statement said:

“The club has found the quality of Castore products to be extremely high.

“We are proud to be wearing Castore’s well-designed, innovative training and match kits in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Women’s National League, and are appreciative of Castore’s support and contribution to the club’s trajectory over the last three seasons.”

Castore has been approached by Spark for comment. However, a spokesperson for Castore said previously:

“There has been some media speculation about a potential issue with the football kit supplied by Castore to Aston Villa Football Club.

“We are working closely in collaboration with the club to address this issue as quickly as possible to meet the standards we expect. We would like to thank the club for their patience and support to date.

“As a proud new British brand, we always hold ourselves to the highest of standards and strive to do everything we can to constantly improve the performance of our products. This means addressing any customer concerns with promptness and humility.”

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