England today revealed their kits for this summer’s World Cup – with the price quickly branded a “rip-off” by supporters and pundits.
Fans are being asked to fork out a whopping £90 for a “match official” version of the all-white home shirt, manufactured by Nike.
A cheaper, £60 “stadium” replica version is available, though the differences between the two shirts appear negligible at first glance.
The cost was quickly criticised by former Villa and Liverpool striker Stan Collymore, now a media pundit, who hit out at the price via Twitter describing it as a “rip-off” and a “joke”. Some supporters are already calling for a boycott of the shirts.
Nike have gone down American route. A "Match" shirt and "stadium" shirt, like NBA do. A joke, just make one please, £90 is a rip off.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) March 31, 2014
Collymore added: "You’ll hear the “extra tailoring, vents, climacool, hand sown crest by Yorkshire virgins” excuse from the manufacturer."
Nike, who have designed both the all-white home kit and the all-red away kit, say the match official shirt features a tailored fit and new ‘sweat-wicking fabric’ designed to keep the wearer cool.
Both shirts will be worn by the squad as they go for glory in Brazil this summer, with the home shirt set to make its debut in a friendly against Peru on May 30. Nike say the kits “focus on English football history and cultural design”.
“Two references really stood out during the design process for the home kit – that stunning all-white kit England wore in Mexico in 1970 and the idea of the armour of English Knights,” said Martin Lotti, the company’s global design director.
Yet aside from the exorbitant cost, supporters might be more interested in the fact Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all appeared in marketing photos for the away strip. All three are bidding to be part of Roy Hodgson’s squad this summer.
The new kit comes less than a year after the previous ones were launched and the white home kit was worn in just seven games. And perhaps ominously, the latest kits have been labelled “2014” suggesting the newest versions could be out of date within 12 months.
The trend for differing “match” and “replica” kits began in the United States where shirts of NFL and NBA teams are frequently available in different versions with widely varying prices.
Watch the behind-the-scenes video from the photo shoot, are these the players heading to Brazil?