There’s not much Arsenal & Tottenham fans agree on but many are united in anger at the £90 cost of the new England kit, with many fans fearing commercial interests have replaced pride and passion as the heart of the beautiful game.
Across north London – Campaigners and residents have been voicing concerns that families and working class fans have been priced out of supporting the National team ahead of the 2014 world cup in Brazil.
Hackney resident & long time Tottenham fan, Mark Luton, has recently started a campaign to pressure the FA into lowering the price and says the public should stand up for what’s fair.
“I’ve been to the last two world cups to support the national team, a lot of people have spent a great deal of their hard earned money patronising the team and even though we’ve been consistently let down, almost the whole country still want to support our boys,” he said.
“But how do they repay us? By making kits unaffordable for your average family, unaffordable for the little kids who dream of representing their national team – it’s wrong and we shouldn’t tolerate it,” he added.
Youth football coach and Arsenal fan Gary Patterson, 54, shares a similar view and says the costing of the shirt speaks volumes of the modern game.
“It’s a shame really, but we’ve been heading this way for quite a while now,” said Mr Patterson.
“20 or 30 years ago it was about pride and passion – but today the game it’s all about big business and at the end of the day it’s the fans that their sucking dry with ticket prices going up and now kits as well,” he added.
Islington resident Susan Williams, has three “football crazy” sons but says there’s no way she’d be able to purchase shirts for them.
“I’m sure they’d want it, it’s just too much – £90 is a lot of money for a t-shirt and a pair of shorts,” she said.
Fans nationwide have complained about the kit’s costing but the English Football Association,(FA), downplayed allegations of corporate greed in a recent statement.
“The FA is a not-for-profit organisation that puts £100m back into the game every year.”
“It is through relationships with partners such as Nike that we are able to maintain that level of investment in football.”
“The FA’s policy is to avoid any involvement with how its partners/licensees set their prices, so as to avoid any risk of or implications of price fixing.”