Forget about the England flag - I’m more bothered about the kit’s price tag

25 March 2024, 09:55

Nike should do the right thing and make the kit affordable, writes Johnny Jenkins
Nike should do the right thing and make the kit affordable, writes Johnny Jenkins. Picture: Alamy
Johnny Jenkins

By Johnny Jenkins

Social media spent the weekend arguing over the new England football kit. But I’m far more concerned that the national team’s shirt costs over £100.

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It’s been difficult to avoid the row over the new England jersey in the past few days. The St George’s Cross on the top’s collar was given a ‘playful update’, according to designers Nike.

The colour of our flag has been slightly changed and it’s either gone woke, or it’s a fuss about nothing - depending on which corner of social media you occupy.

At England’s friendly against Brazil at Wembley on Saturday evening, hundreds wore the team’s new shirt. But, as expected, supporters were divided - one football fan even said the tops should be burnt.

Nike has refused to apologise, saying that it had no ‘intention to offend’.

I’m offended - not by the shirt’s design, but by the kit’s price tag.

The jersey, released in time for this summer’s Euros in Germany, costs £84.99. Or £124.99, depending on whether you want the fancy match-ready design or just a replica. The basic children’s design will set you back £64.99.

This price is ludicrous and, for many, unaffordable. Nike sells a range of sportswear and you can purchase a short-sleeved running top for around £30.

I’ve got no idea why the England-branded design needs to cost four times as much as a basic exercise t-shirt. It’s an insult to fans of the national game.

Speaking to the Sun last week, Labour leader and footie fan Sir Keir Starmer argued the design should be reconsidered, but also suggested that Nike ‘could also reduce the price of the shirts’. He’s right.

I understand that other football kits aren’t cheap and most Premier League clubs also market their tops at a similar price.

These t-shirts could be cheaper, but when it comes to the national team, everybody in England should be able to afford the top.

Children across the country need to be able to take pride in their team. But at the moment, hard-up mums and dads are struggling to stump up the hundreds of pounds required to kit out their family in the official tops.

National pride is a good thing and when it comes to the national game, the country comes together to support the team

Wearing the England kit while watching the team play - whether at home, at the pub or in the stadium - makes us all feel this pride.

The price of our nation’s football top needs to be reduced. It’s not too late to cut the cost ahead of this year’s Euros tournament, when England-mania will reach fever pitch.

If Nike do the right thing and make their kit affordable, we’ll have a sea of affordable England shirts in the crowds in Germany this summer - filled with fans young and old - cheering on our team, in the hope of bringing football home.