Arsenal and Chelsea have been handed a kit headache ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup Final.
Both clubs have been asked to add patches for Heads Up – the Prince William-led mental health charity – on the front of already congested shirts.
It has meant that in order to satisfy the request, which came from the chair of the campaign, each has had to get creative. Both clubs already have main sponsors and shirt sleeve sponsors. They also have to add a patch for FA Cup sponsors Emirates, along with patches for both the NHS and Black Lives Matter.
Sportsmail understands that Arsenal have moved the NHS and BLM patches to the back of their shirts underneath the number, while Chelsea have shifted the NHS to the back of the jersey and will put the BLM message on their shorts.
Sources have made the point that the variety of messaging on display will have the shirts resembling racing cars, rather than football jerseys. And while both clubs are keen to support the Heads Up initiative, the request – made earlier this month – has caused issues.
The Duke of Cambridge has been at the forefront of a season-long campaign around mental health, as the FA worked with a group of charities as part of the Heads Together initiative and the match will be known as the Heads Up FA Cup Final after Emirates agreed to give up naming rights for the game.
While the campaign is aimed at all, there is a recognition that football is a powerful way to reach men. Males are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, with suicide the most likely cause of death for men under 45.
Recently, Arsenal’s players had a video call with Prince William to discuss the importance of prioritising mental health when football returned while, in October 2019, Frank Lampard joined the Prince in a pub to surprise fans watching an England game.
An FA spokesperson said: ‘The 2019/20 FA Cup Final has been dedicated to raising awareness of mental health as part of the Heads Up campaign. The event will put a spotlight on this important issue and encourage more people to feel comfortable talking about it.
‘As well as Heads Up, the FA Cup Final will also recognise the Black Lives Matter campaign and the invaluable role of our NHS workers, both on the team match day kits and within the stadium branding.’