Disappointing recent results by the national team have coincided with a downturn in sales of England football shirts. Umbro has admitted that sales of the Three Lions crest football shirt are well below target so far this year, with only one third of the year’s stock having been sold.
Umbro Chief Executive Steve Makin has blamed the performance of Steve McClaren’s England team combined with a reluctance for consumers to spend money. With the possibility that England may not qualify for next years European Championships, Umbro has been forced to cut its 2008 profit targets, fearing that retailers such as Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, may order fewer England football shirts, following flagging sales.
Umbro’s UK sales have experienced a 55% plunge in the first six months of the year, and the sports manufacturer also expects sales of the new England away football shirt, to be launched in February 2008, to be 20% lower than previously forecast.
The football boot brand has recently extended its football shirt sponsorship deal with French Champions Lyon to 2013, and will hope that continuing strong football shirt sales at Umbro sponsored clubs Everton and West Ham, will help to redress the balance.
England go into Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel without Adidas endorsees David Beckham (Adidas Predator Absolute Globe) and Frank Lampard (Adidas Predator Absolute), and Nike’s Wayne Rooney (Nike Total 90 Laser). Adidas Predator Absolute football boot wearer Steven Gerrard and fellow midfielder Owen Hargreaves (Nike Total 90 Laser) remain injury doubts.
England last failed to qualify for a major tournament in 1994 (USA World Cup) under Graham Taylor’s stewardship. The Three Lions last failed to qualify for the European Championships in 1984, whilst managed by Sir Bobby Robson.