All about the money?

File pix: It is a norm for football clubs to launch new kits every season. /EPA

Liverpool have changed their home jersey every year in the past three years. I remember once upon a time when the club only changed their home jersey every two seasons. This is no longer the case.

It seems that most the big teams change their home kits every season these days which suggests that the only thing they care about is profits

I have supported Liverpool for as long as I can remember (my memory stretches to the 1992 FA cup win over Sunderland) but I don’t feel the compulsion to pre-order the latest jersey for almost RM250.

Nowadays, I just wait for the end of the season, so that I can buy the jersey for RM100. But there are other fans who buy jerseys every season without fail, even before the season starts.

To each his own I guess, but I don’t believe that you have to buy every single jersey every year to be a fan or prove your loyalty to your team.

According to the Premier League website, there is no rule stating how often clubs must change their kits or a rule governing how long a kit must be worn for.

It also says that the life cycle of a club kit should be made clear at the point of sale when purchased.

According to a 2010 BBC news report, the Premier League charter in 2000 pledged that replica strips would be released every two seasons to save fans money.

The same report stated that Liverpool and Arsenal stated in their customer charter that their “home shirts will have a minimum lifespan of two seasons.”

That isn’t the case in the Liverpool charter anymore as “all replica strips have a minimum lifespan of one season”.

Arsenal’s charter though, still states that “home replica kits will have a minimum lifespan of two seasons with the exception of special circumstances”.

So Arsenal are still “ethical” in this department, although many fans will point out that their ticket prices are one of the highest in the league.

Back to the matter at hand. In the 2010-11 season, Tottenham Hotspur launched six kits – three for the Premier League and another three for their cup games.

The jerseys had the same template and colours but different sponsors for league and cup games.

I understand that teams need lots of money to buy and pay the best players. Still, they can perhaps bring down the prices of jerseys, which we all know are produced in third-world countries at low prices.

Recently, England fans complained about the ridiculous prices of England jerseys, which were on sale for as much as £90 (RM490).

To make matters worse, certain manufacturers even produce “player issue” jerseys, which are sold for even more ridiculous prices. I saw a World Cup jersey sold for more than RM500.

These “player issue” jerseys are apparently the same ones as worn by players when they are on the pitch.

It’s time that kit manufacturers and clubs not take fans for granted. I know more people who are turning to fake jerseys, which are carbon copies of the products you buy from the big stores.

These can be bought online for only RM50 and one definitely can’t tell that your jersey is not “original”. By the way, that's RM50 including postage.

> Rashvinjeet hopes that the 25th Hillsborough Anniversary will remind clubs especially Liverpool that the fans come first.

The views expressed are entirely the writer's own.


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