Inter Milan stormed to a 2-0 victory over rivals AC Milan in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday – while wearing a kit with no sponsor.
Inter’s classic blue and black striped kit was hailed by many football fans on social media for its simplicity.
The shirt featured the club’s emblem in the top left corner and the kit manufacture, Nike, in the top right.
The empty space in the middle looks highly unusual in the modern era but, in the opinion of many, it made the shirt look far more beautiful.
But why did Inter’s kit not feature a sponsor?
Why Inter Milan’s kit doesn’t have a sponsor
Well, it isn’t just the Champions League where Inter Milan’s stars have been playing in a sponsor-less kit in recent weeks.
The Nerazzurri have had no sponsor on their same kit while playing in Serie A, either.
Up until the end of April, Inter displayed the sponsor ‘DigitalBits’ on the front of their shirts.
However, one month earlier it emerged that Inter hadn’t received any payments from the shirt sponsor this season – despite signing a deal worth €85 million (£75m/$94m) in September 2021.
AS Roma have reportedly encountered similar issues with the blockchain company, and both Serie A clubs have subsequently dropped them as their front-of-shirt sponsor.
Per Football Italia, DigitalBits released the following statement following the suspension of their partnership with Inter and Roma: “Digitalbits foundation has undertaken a proactive process for the redefinition of partnerships that will involve the Digitalbits brand in the future, in line with the objectives of economic sustainability and use of blockchain technology.
“The sponsorship contracts regarding the exposure of the Digitalbits brand with the football teams Roma and Inter were concluded with Zytara labs. Digitalbits foundation represents the community and ecosystem aimed at promoting blockchain technology and its use.”
What have Inter Milan said?
Per The Sun, Inter released a statement earlier on this year saying: “We understand that the crisis in the cryptocurrency sector, which worsened during the second quarter of the year 2022, significantly affected the ability of the client to fulfil its obligations.
“We are reserving all the actions and remedies to protect our contractual interests and rights and, in the meantime, we removed the logos of the partner from our website, billboards and jerseys of the youth and women’s sector teams.”
Will Inter Milan win the 2023 Champions League?
Inter have certainly boosted their chances of becoming European champions for the first time since 2010 following their first leg win over the Rossoneri.
Goals inside the opening 15 minutes from veteran duo Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have left Inter with one foot in this season’s final.
However, Simone Inzaghi’s side still need to finish the job in next week’s second leg.