England national team

“What a JOKE”…. The new England shirt ALONE costs £124.99

Euro 2024 provides England with an excellent chance of winning a major trophy for the first time since 1966. Many believe the squad at manager Gareth Southgate’s disposal is one of the best in the competition, and there is a high level of expectation from the fans ahead of this summer.

As is the case with any international tournament, people across the country will become united this summer. International football is something everyone can get behind, regardless of whether they are football fans or not.

When you think of international tournament culture in England, you might think of a hot summer’s day, spent with family and friends watching football in the sun, with everyone donning the famous Three Lions on their chest, representing their favourite player from the present-day or yesteryear.

As we draw ever nearer to this summer’s blockbuster tournament, shops will soon be filled with England fans, young and old, hoping to buy the latest shirt for the Euros, a tradition for decades in England and elsewhere across the globe.

Sadly, this might not be the reality for people this year. As the cost of living crisis continues, major manufacturers in the football kit business do not seem to want to make football shirts affordable to the millions of families in England with less disposable income to spend this summer than previous years.

Instead, major companies such as Nike, who make England’s kit seem intent on alienating fans from showing support to their country. Prices of football shirts have sky-rocketed recently, but the outrageous fees fans are now required to pay means owning an England shirt becomes an almost exclusive thing.

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Adult shirts now cost £84.99 for a replica, and £124.99 for an authentic England shirt, and child shirts £64.99 for a replica and £119.99 for the authentic version. That is without the name and number of your favourite player. Children might not be able to wear a shirt with Jude Bellingham on the back because it is simply too expensive for their parents to afford.

Of course, there are alternatives. You can buy second-hand shirts which in some cases can come at a cheaper price, or a remake of a retro shirt which does not even come with a manufacturer’s logo on it; it is not the same as buying the same shirt your heroes will be wearing with pride at the tournament.

This issue extends further than just Nike, and England. Take Germany’s Euro 2024 shirt, made by Adidas, for example. It would set you back £80 for a replica and £130 for the authentic shirt. Again, that is without a name set on the back.

It is ridiculously naive for the major shirt manufacturers to outprice a football fan out of buying their club or country’s shirt. How do they expect the general public to wear an England shirt during a major tournament when it is not affordable for many people?

This short-sighted pricing from shirt manufacturers must be stopped. It is so important for fans to feel the sense of unity and pride that they should have when wearing the same shirt as their international heroes. Memories are made from watching major tournaments in the sun with your friends and family. No football fan should feel excluded because of the extortionate price of modern-day football shirts.

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