Football manufacturers pull shirts from supermarkets

Football Shirts adorn football stadiums worldwide but recent figures for sportswear giant JJB Sports showed that England shirt sales had slowed, whilst football boot brands are apparently discouraging supermarkets from stocking their replica shirts.

Many of the football boot brands have a long list of restrictive criteria that the respective supermarkets must meet in order to stock replica football shirts. Nike, who produce shirts for the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, and Celtic, has produced a ’12 point document’ stipulating criteria such as approval on fixtures and fittings and where its products are stocked in store.


According to Paul Crier of Asda, Nike is not the only football boot brand that have been awkward.
“In the past, the likes of Umbro, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, did not want to sell to us direct so they did everything they could not to sell to us on a direct basis.”

Between them, Umbro, Nike, Adidas and Reebok, make the kit for 15 of the 20 English Premier League clubs as well as four of the 12 Scottish Premier League teams and international shirts for England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

Indeed, football shirts and kits are always a must have for any true football fan, with some memorable, and others that we would rather forget. The Times newspaper has recently reviewed its ‘Top 50 Football Kits’ and below, we take a look at which kits make up the top ten!

10. England 1966
Plenty of teams have worn red football shirts and white shorts. But only one has ever won a World Cup final.

9. Wolves
Old gold shirts, black shorts. A proud and simple tradition, from Billy Wright to Steve Bull and beyond.

8. Celtic 1967
What, no football shirt numbers? The Lions of Lisbon knew who they were.

7. Newcastle United 1969
The Fairs Cup win was Newcastle’s last trophy. Maybe they should try going back to the classic kit they wore to win it.

6. Ajax
Unique, simple, iconic. You can’t ask for much more from a football kit.

5. Liverpool 1960s
Bill Shankly decided that adding red shorts and socks would make his red-shirted players appear more imposing. Ron Yeats looked around seven feet tall as a result.

4. Holland 1974-78
Die Oranje lost two World Cup finals despite a host of great players, but the kit was a winner.

3. Italy 1970
There have been minor variations – remember the figure-hugging version? – but the Azzurri have always been Europe’s best turned-out national team.

2. Real Madrid 1960s
The iconic kit, unspoilt by logos and motifs and worn by Gento and Di Stefano. Copied by every club from Leeds United to LA Galaxy.

1. Brazil 1970
An unlikely combination of yellow, green, blue and white, which proved a challenge to early colour television technology during the Mexico World Cup, but no team has ever looked better than Pele, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto and company.

Do you agree with the choices? Click here for the full top 50 rundown.

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