Has official merchandising in football gone too far?

In the past month, adidas, the new sponsor of Manchester United Football Club, released their latest range of clothing, available on both adidas and United’s official websites and in their own respective stores.

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Outside the official megastore at Old Trafford.

However, they have once again come under heavy criticism over the pricing of the products, as they did at the start of August following the release of the new kits for the 2015/2016 season.

But are modern football fans to be surprised?

One thing that has always stayed constant is the culture of a football club.

However, each football club is now promoting its brand through official merchandise at almost ridiculous levels on their website and in its club shop.

Causing football fans to rent their frustration at the supposed ‘working man’s game’ being left behind for them.

Demand for shirts has been at an all time high, as United have smashed their sales record for the latest home kit.

However, the actual price of a full Manchester United home kit for adults with name and number is around £120, with it being £100 for kids.

This means that a family are shedding out hundreds of pounds on buying kits to support the club they love, but with these prices, are they being treated like they are loved back?

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The Manchester United home shirt, selling at around £60 depending on size.

Since the partnership came into prominence adidas have fully taken advantage of the market by producing jackets, joggers and even bucket hats.

 

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A Manchester United ‘windbreaker’ coat and t-shirt, part of the latest adidas originals range.

Some fans have seen the return of the ‘retro’ adidas clothing as a positive…

In fact me myself as a fan was so impressed by the latest retro range that I went out and bought one of the jackets myself.

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Me in the latest Manchester United jacket, from the 1985 retro range, priced at £60.

They have not stopped there though, as a few weeks after releasing a new United clothesline, they followed it up by actually producing a pair of United shoes, priced £75.

When will it end?

Although some keen fans stayed outside Old Trafford overnight for an early morning release of the adidas Stretford.

The fact that there were only 1200 shoes made for distribution only raised the price of the pair further, on eBay, the shoes were going for astronomical numbers.

As a result most fans were very relieved to get their hands on them…

Though the majority were less than impressed with how quickly they sold out…

And many were displeased by the fact that the three stripes, adidas’ main brand identity and USP, were not in team colours…

Quite a lot of fans who signed up weeks in advance to receive an email on the day of release didn’t get end up getting one.

Thus leading to fury at the fact the shoes were unattainable for the proper fans who wanted to actually wear them and that they went to those who just wanted to sell them off for a profit.

By the amount of products being shovelled out at extremely high prices, it looks like the gap between the club and the fans is getting wider, not closer.

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