English Championship sides Crystal Palace and Barnsley‘s fixture this weekend included a bizarre twist. Barnsley, the traveling side, were forced into wearing Crystal Palace’s very own away shirts at Selhurst Park.
Referee Kevin Stroud deemed that the kits originally set to be worn were too similar and would prove a difficulty to identify. Barnsley’s home kit is red whilst their away strip consists of blue and black stripes. But Stroud believed these were too similar to Palace’s color.
So, a rare sight therefore occurred as the Palace staff rushed to get Barnsley’s shirt names printed on their opponent’s very own kit. The only Barnsley shirt in sight was their goalkeeper, Luke Steele, who wore black.
But perhaps what is most confusing is that when the two met earlier in the season, Barnsley simply played in the red home shirt against Palace’s yellow away shirt; the exact same that Barnsley donned on Saturday. So it is surely the pure preference of referee Stroud.
The match finished 0-0, so it is little surprise that such a trivial story makes the news and it is slightly amusing. However, the biggest winner from the mix-up was probably Palace’s kit sponsor, who got double the normal exposure.
It is widely assumed that clubs agree with the League organizers and one another in preseason to make sure the kit colors are all ready and predetermined, so again it must have simply been a concern for Stroud on the day.
It’s fair to say however that you can’t imagine the same situation arising as easily with two rival clubs.