Manchester United fans have been asked by shirt sponsors Adidas to create a ‘wall of white’ during next week’s Europa League trip to Liverpool, despite their away support’s long-standing tradition of dressing in black.
Each away supporter in attendance at Anfield will receive the club’s current white change shirt as the sports manufacturer hopes to a create boisterous atmosphere in the visitors' section.
"In order to help generate the best possible atmosphere at Anfield next week, the club is delighted to give you (and all season ticket holders travelling to Liverpool) a complimentary white away shirt," read an e-mail sent to each ticket holder.
“We would like you to wear it at the match to help create a 'Wall of White' as the team walks out."
The shirts, which are due to be discontinued at the end of the season, will be delivered to supporters by the club's official logistics partner DHL. According to a report by the Manchester Evening News, it was the club who initially suggested the idea and not its commercial partners.
United’s away support is notable for its lack of club colours, particularly for highly-charged fixtures against rivals like Liverpool, and reaction on social media to the scheme has been particularly negative. A number of supporters have accused the club misunderstanding the nature of away support.
Other United supporters, while remaining sceptical about the stunt, have indicated that they will accept the offer of a free shirt in order to pass it down to younger family members or donate it to charities and local schools.
The fans' reaction on social media
The gimmick follows previous mosaic displays at European home games, most memorably in the semi-final victory over Barcelona in 2008, which were generally well-received.
United travel to play Liverpool in the Europa League round-of-16 first leg at Anfield on 10 March.
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