Manufacturer Adidas is eating some crow after being called out over discrepancies in training gear supplied to men’s and women’s teams at one of England’s highest-profile football clubs.
Adidas and Arsenal FC launched a new range of training gear on Jan. 5, featuring jackets and tops with black bases and white and turquoise accents. Social media posts featured illustrations of Arsenal players in the training kit, including women’s team captain Leah Williamson.
The announcement rubbed fellow Arsenal Women player Beth Mead (pictured at the top of this article) the wrong way, though. According to inews.co.uk, Mead sent then deleted a reply tweet reading: “Would be nice if we actually got this training kit adidas.”
Indeed, photos of the women’s side training taken after Jan. 5 show them in the old range of tops, with a turquoise base.
When contacted by inews.co.uk last week, Adidas told reporter Katherine Lucas that the company was “proactively working with Arsenal Women to address this issue and find a suitable solution.”
“We also have some exciting plans for the women’s team this year and look forward to sharing them,” Adidas added.
But, in a follow-up article Lucas penned on Jan. 12, she writes that the Arsenal women “are unlikely to be given the new kit before the end of this season.” She also writes that the club said it would be “working with adidas on future clothing ranges which will make a difference in seasons ahead.”
Arsenal and Adidas also came under fire for discrepancies in gear provided to the women’s team back in December 2021. As Lucas points out in her article, the women were given new anthem jackets to wear prior to kickoff at the 2021 Women’s FA Cup final. But midfielder Lia Wälti later told a podcast that the jackets were oversized and in men’s cuts, making the players look like “potato bags.”
“It was a nice gesture but it just wasn’t thought through,” Wälti added.
London-based rugby union squad Harlequins also had their own mishap with Adidas in December. As Lucas again notes in her original piece, Harlequins’ women’s team played a match in a “unisex” kit in December that was clearly too big for many of the players. One player joked on Twitter that they were wearing “khaki dresses.”
A Harlequins spokesperson told inews.co.uk that they would make sure the women’s side had a custom-made kit next season. “Our challenge is that our kit supplier Adidas only make one cut of kit. This is an issue across women’s sport and while we can fully understand frustration at the issue, we obviously rely on our partners to help deliver.”