Everyone likes to support their national team, but the ever changing England kit and allegations of price fixing have angered fans.
The latest incarnation was officially released on 5 February in time for a showcase at the pitiful 1-0 loss in a friendly against Spain.
The new kit is officially slated for 2007-09, although many people can barely keep in touch with what is the current strip. In essence, the England shirt could remain in place for much longer than the 2 year turnover. National teams have this luxury because of the lack of sponsors – unlike club kit, which typically changes every few years as new suppliers strike deals, and sponsors change.
Understandably the move had angered fans of the beautiful game, with the England team’s lack of success in recent years adding to the cauldron:
“They are paid more money than I’ll see in my lifetime and seem to spend most of their time engaged in an ongoing fashion parade”, one fan mentioned when asked about the current state of Football. “The pressure on fans and parents to fork out their hard earned on new kit is unfair – the money mill keeps turning the screws”, he continued. The latest shirt is priced at around £40.
Adding to the debate are the reports that Umbro is actively trying to block moves by supermarkets to sell the kit, which is seen by commentators as a ploy to protect profit margins. The irony is – and this might bring a wry smile to your face – that Umbro’s Chief Financial Office is Stephen Makin, formerly in the employ of Asda.
Currently a Which? investigation is taking action against JJB Sports over price fixing in replica kits. As it says on their website at which.co.uk:
“JJB Sports was fined by the Office of Fair Trading in 2003 for fixing the price of England and Manchester United football shirts. If you were a victim of the rip-off price cartel, you can join our case and we hope to get you some of your money back.”