Sunday, June 24, 2018

Who does seizing fake football kits protect?

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More than £240,000 of counterfeit football kits have been seized by our Trading Standards officers ahead of the World Cup.
So begins a press release on the Leicestershire County Council website.

The release goes on to quote Labour peer Lord Toby Harris, who turns out to be the chair of National Trading Standards:
“People across the country are excited about the World Cup and fans should be able to expect that the World Cup merchandise they are buying is genuine. Legitimate businesses should also be able to operate without being undermined by criminal businesses flogging fakes. 
“I want to thank the team at East Midlands Airport for their work to ensure these items were prevented from entering the UK and to thank Leicestershire County Council for their partnership working, which is helping to protect consumers and legitimate businesses across the country.”
I wonder if the public, and parents in particular, will feel the same way.

The football industry has been pretty ruthless at exploiting fans' devotion. Clubs announce a new  strip every year, with home shirts subtly altered and away shirts changed out of all recognition.

When I was young life was much simpler. You were bought a plain royal blue shirt, your mum sewed a number seven on the back and you were Charlie Cooke.

Today's youngsters are more sophisticated and might howl if they saw a stitch out of place on their new shirt.

But I do suspect it is football clubs' interests that are being protected here and not consumers'.

In which case, I can think of better uses of council revenue than pursuing the sellers of fake football strips.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

I remember looking at some football shirts in a Hong Kong street market -- it was the year when Blackpool FC entered the Premiership, hurrah! -- at a stall which displayed "No Photos" signs. The counterfeit football shirt business was a serious affair in HK and I complied.

I think some teams are too driven by computer generated reports to understand "brand value" created by people wearing knock off shirts.