Sydney FC will be Sky Blue in name only for ACL campaign

Sydney FC will be Sky Blue in name only in the 2018 Asian Champions League after the club unveiled its new jersey for the continental tournament, abandoning their primary colour for the first time in their history.

Sydney will wear a mostly white home jersey during their fourth foray into Asia after strict regulations about clashing kits prompted the club to make the bold decision to abandon their colours. It is understood the club's initial plan to wear a completely sky blue home uniform was met with resistance from the Asian Football Confederation, who are sticklers for regulations and guidelines.

The AFC are understood to have informed Sydney FC an entirely sky blue kit would not be enough of a contrast to their navy blue away uniform. Given the number of clubs that wear royal blue, including group stage opponents Shanghai Shenhua and Suwon Bluewings - should the latter qualify through the play-offs - the AFC prevented Sydney FC from donning two uniforms in varying shades of blue.

A Sydney FC spokesman told the Herald the club asked to change their away kit from navy blue to white but were told that would not meet regulations either, suggesting they needed light and dark alternative shirts.

Now the Sky Blues will wear a mostly white jersey at home with blue socks and shorts throughout the 2018 ACL and a navy blue uniform as their away strip. "I think it's a fantastic design, I think the shirt looks great, I think there were some issues with it being entirely Sky Blue ... I think it's a terrific looking shirt," Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said.

As a result of their first run-in with the AFC's regulation book, Sydney FC took the opportunity to cash-in on potential merchandising with a unique jersey for their club. "We're always looking to change things up a bit and I think with the Asian Champions League gives us an opportunity to do something new and fresh," Barlow said.

At the unveiling their new strip on Monday, Sydney FC announced a front-of-shirt sponsorship deal with an Australian financial broker that tips the value of their jersey sponsors to a seven figure sum. As revealed by Fairfax Media in October, Sydney FC were receiving about $900,000 in revenue from their A-League and FFA Cup partners but their Asian Champions League sponsorship pushes that figure to well over $1 million.

This story Sydney FC will be Sky Blue in name only for ACL campaign first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.