British clubs get shirty in Euro League kit battle
- Virgin Money’s Football Fans Inflation Index shows British clubs are among the cheapest for replica shirts in the Champions League
- Zenit St Petersburg replica shirt is the most expensive in Champions League at almost £90
- Big spending Real Madrid sitting in 10th – at £67
Fans of British football clubs in the Champions League are beating many of the European giants, at least in terms of replica shirt prices, according to new analysis from Virgin Money.
Average replica shirt costs for all 32 clubs in the Champions League group stages are £62 – whilst the four English clubs are 15% cheaper at an average £52.50, with Scotland’s only representative Celtic coming in 11% below the average at £55.
Ranked on their replica shirt prices, the British clubs would all qualify from their groups with Manchester United, Arsenal, Celtic, Chelsea and Manchester City ranking higher, with cheaper replica shirts than the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris St Germain.
The cheapest replica shirts on offer belong to the Portuguese side Benfica, which charges fans just £25 (€29.90) while fans of Turkey’s Galatasaray pay around £42. However supporters of Russia’s Zenit St Petersburg have to fork out an eye-watering £87 for a shirt, with fans of FC Basel of Switzerland being charged over £81.
Spanish giants Real Madrid are the 10th most expensive side at around £67 – and that is before getting Bale and his squad number printed on the back which adds another £12, or 15 Euros.
The relative good news for English and Scottish clubs underlines the fact that these clubs are doing something to control prices, although Virgin Money’s Football Fans Inflation Index – which has tracked domestic prices since 2006 – shows football inflation running at 3 per cent compared to the Consumer Price Index at 2.7 per cent.
The rise in English football inflation has been driven by increased costs of replica shirts, which are 11% more expensive than a year ago, with an average of £38.33 across all leagues – but analysis shows European leagues are charging much higher prices.
Graeme Tones, spokesman for Virgin Money, said: “English football fans tend to look jealously at costs in Europe with ticket prices in Germany’s Bundesliga averaging around £22, compared to £27 in England. Spain and France also offer cheaper season and match day tickets.
"But English and Scottish clubs in the Champions League are at least offering better value for money on their replica shirts compared to their major European rivals. Attendances across English leagues are still strong with 11 of the Premier League clubs reporting sell-outs so far this season despite the rising costs.
"We are all aware that football operates in its own financial world as the transfer deals show, but clubs have to be mindful that fans need all the financial help they can get."
The cheapest replica shirts in the Champions League are shown below:
|Club||Replica shirt price|
|Celtic/Manchester United/Manchester City||£55|
The 10 most expensive replica shirts in the Champions League are shown below:
|Club||Replica shirt price|
|Zenit St Petersburg||£87.16|
|Paris St Germain||£71.11|
Virgin Money’s annual Football Fans Inflation Index shows that the cost of being a fan for the 2013/14 season has increased by 3% since the start of the 2012/13 season.
Virgin Money’s Football Fans Index has tracked the cost of football since January 2006 and is aimed at helping supporters keep track of the rise and fall in the costs of supporting their team. The company identified the match day essentials fans buy and keeps tabs on increases and decreases.
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