See you in court!’: Heerenveen 2011-12 Athena Anniversary Away Shirt 

Around 12 years ago, Heerenveen execs and Jako kit manufacturers rolled out (what they thought was) a classy 1920s tribute kit. The start of the new season was not far on the horizon, and the Frisian club were awaiting a visit from Ajax on the Eredivisie opening day. It was set to be a great event, as the club hyped up the new season by looking back in relative fanfare.

The first game of the 2011-12 season was whipped into life by an orchestra at the Abe Lenstra Stadion. Kick off approached as the players walked out to a great reception from the home crowd. The Ajax players were the consummate image of cool, calm reigning champions. They’d just clinched their 30th title that season before. 

Heerenveen’s players and coaching staff, however, were adorned with traditional clothing from the 1920s as well as fake moutaches to boot. When the old clothes came off, the kit underneath laid a frightening resemblance to the day’s visitors. With the kit below, it was easy for many in the stadium to think this was some kind of Eredivisie champion tribute act.

It was instead, a tribute to Heerenveen’s kit from that time – but with Ajax striding out confidently into Dutch domestic football’s legacy as consistent champions – it came across differently to as was intended. 
The modern Heerenveen badge on the chest stuck out like a sore thumb. The likes of Bas Dost, Luciano Narsingh and Filip Đuričić dashed about sheepishly in this shirt. It was almost like it would peel away to reveal an old Ajax logo. De Godenzonen and a number of fan forums took exception to this strip despite its classic look. The colours were just too synonymous with Ajax’s home shirt. After many protests and the club even going as far as threatening a lawsuit, De Superfriezen’s management finally decided not to continue with this away shirt and promptly switched to a different design. Wise move.


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