The average cost of a junior sized football shirt is £39.33. The average for an adult sized shirt is just under £50. That is just for the shirt. So if your son or daughter wants the full kit. Then you’re looking at pretty hefty sum.
There’s no denying that football shirts are big business. Barcelona have signed a long term contract extension with Nike that will see them make at least £140 million a season. Chelsea also signed a deal with Nike, that will earn the newly crowned Premier League champions £900 million over a 15-year period.
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Now what youngster, or adult, doesn’t want to have their team’s latest shirt with a star player’s name on the back? You go down to your local Goals centre and you see more players wearing a team’s shirt, than not.
But all of the so called European heavyweights, seem to release three new kits every season. Now while we understand the need for a third kit (Manchester United for instance, have red for their home kit, and white as their away. So they need another kit when playing teams like Arsenal and Southampton) But do they really need to bring out three new kits every year? Even though they only wear the previous season’s away/third kit a couple of times?
The solution is so simple, yet oddly ignored because of the greed of the clubs.
Put a limit on releases
When negotiating with the kit suppliers, and the primary shirt sponsors, why don’t they agree deals in three year blocks? So therefore when they release their three new kits, the customer knows the shirt they’re buying will be used for the next three years! The clubs could even charge more for the shirt when it goes on sale originally. Say maybe, £70 when it first comes out. £50 in the second year of use, and then £30 for the final year.
Still incredibly expensive, but fans would at least know the shirt they’re buying on its release, won’t be ‘out of date’ in a year’s time. Is this too much to ask of our clubs? That maybe they show a little consideration to their fans? But clubs know that the majority of fans will buy the next season’s kit, regardless of how long it’s in use, or even how attractive it is. Because they see it as a sense of loyalty to the club.
No real chance of any change
But can we expect things to change? Football kits are big business; they are a major source of income for the clubs, and they will utilise any opportunity to make as much money as they can out of them. But think of this: of your team’s last 10 kits that have been released. How many have you thought ‘wow, that’s a really nice shirt’?
My guess would be…not many. In releasing three kits per season, they have to make each shirt different to the last. And this results in some radical, sometimes, more often than not, awful kit designs. But as long as fans keep buying them, why should the clubs care!?