Arsenal’s kit supplier Adidas have admitted to not providing the women’s side with the correct training kit.
England international Beth Mead recently deleted a social media post in which she suggested Arsenal Women were not given the same training gear as the men’s team.
In response to a tweet from the club’s official account, which featured a cartoon of Mead’s teammate Leah Williamson advertising a new black and green training top, the forward wrote: “Would be nice if we actually got this training kit adidas”.
This week, Arsenal’s men were pictured training in the new kit, while the women’s team were seen using the old green and white version.
Approached by i, Adidas said they were “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,” they added.
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Available now from Arsenal Direct ????
Arsenal midfielder Lia Walti previously raised the issue in a podcast appearance, saying that although Arsenal “try to do the right thing”, in the FA Cup final she and her teammates were left looking like “potato bags” due to wearing oversized jackets.
“It doesn’t always work and it seems like half an effort,” Walti said. “In the FA Cup final, we had new jackets but only in sizes medium and large men’s cut, so we looked like potato bags.
“It’s a nice gesture but it just wasn’t thought through. If they do something they should really do it properly. Arsenal men would never have to wear a women’s cut jacket.”
Rugby union club Harlequins were also met with criticism in December when their Women’s side played in a unisex kit – also provided by Adidas – at Big Game 13 at Twickenham, the first women’s competitive club rugby game held at the ground.
While the kit was supposedly designed for both male and female players, it was clearly too large for several female players. Quins second row Rosie Galligan joked about wearing “khaki dresses”.
Harlequins confirmed to i that they will be provided with a bespoke women’s jersey next season. “Our challenge is that our kit supplier Adidas only make one cut of kit,” a club spokesperson explained.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Jonas Eidevall said it was “100 per cent my responsibility” after his side were stunned by bottom of the table Birmingham City, ending their perfect start to the Women’s Super League season.
The Blues were ahead within three minutes through Libby Smith before Veatriki Sarri doubled their lead.
“We didn’t play well enough under their pressure, and we didn’t break their low block down well enough, so very disappointed with our performance today,” Eidevall added.
The result has blown the title race open with Chelsea now just four points behind the Gunners. Emma Hayes’ side also have a game in hand, following the recent postponement of their match against Tottenham.
Spurs are themselves just five points behind Arsenal, having played the same number of games. That would have been unthinkable before Rehanne Skinner’s appointment in November 2020 and while Champions League qualification is still likely to be too big an ask, Spurs’ rise ought to give hope to other mid-table clubs.
Skinner’s emphasis on a possession-based brand of football has seen their horizons transformed. For Birmingham, who were winless going into their weekend meeting with the league-leaders, their ambitions are a little more restrained, but in moving ahead of Leicester they dispensed one of the WSL’s biggest myths – that the bottom three or four clubs have no hope of upsetting Arsenal or Chelsea.
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