Manchester United and adidas have been accused of exploitation after it emerged the club’s new home kit could cost as much as £193.
Supporters, campaigners and fans groups have all criticised the Old Trafford outfit and the manufacturer — branding the staggering sum ‘a disgrace’.
United released their 2018-19 home strip on Tuesday, which features a nod to the club’s railwaymen founders of 140 years ago in the shape of black train line.
Manchester United have unveiled their new home kit ahead of the Premier League season – with the ‘authentic’ version of the adults’ kit costing £183 for shirt, shorts and socks. The shirt is worn in this image by United midfielder Juan Mata
The ‘authentic’ kit – made of the same materials as clothing worn by stars – costs £183. It is modelled (left) by World Cup-winning United star man Paul Pogba
Romelu Lukaku models the new home kit that is inspired by United’s original name
The new home kit will be worn for the first time on their tour of the United States
The ‘authentic’ jersey, which boasts ‘climachill technology’, an ‘athletic fit’ and is what Jose Mourinho’s men will wear at Old Trafford for the coming campaign, costs £109.95, with ‘authentic’ shorts £42.95 and socks a scarcely believable £29.95.
THE EYE-WATERING COST OF UNITED KIT
Authentic kit – adult
Normal kit – adult
Kids aged 7 – 16 years
Mini kit for kids
Up to 18 months – £37.95 for top/shorts/socks
18 months to six years – £44.95 for top/shorts/socks
When a name and number is added, the total cost comes to £192.85.
A replica kit which costs £126.85 is also available, while full strips for kids aged 7-16 are £109.80 and minikits for those up to six are priced at £44.95.
United have defended the cost, saying the prices are set by retailers and are in line with kits from other top European clubs.
Across Manchester, City also have two versions of their Nike-manufactured home jersey, with the ‘Vapor’ match shirt coming in at a staggering £89.95.
The full kit, including ‘Vapor’ shorts, a name and number and Premier League badge, costs £169.86.
An England ‘Vapor’ jersey also costs £89.95, while Puma-made ‘authentic’ Arsenal shirts — using the same materials as those worn by the players — cost £100.
Liverpool’s most expensive shirt, made by New Balance, is £70 with an ‘LFC Junior European Home Shirt’ costing £60. A Liverpool infant kit is £40.
Justine Roberts, founder and chief executive of parenting site mumsnet, accused clubs of exploitation.
She said: ‘Every season football clubs seem to push the prices of junior kits upwards. Parents love seeing their kids enjoying football, but the price of their children’s fandom is too steep for many parents.
‘Mumsnet users have said overwhelmingly that they think football merchandise is a rip-off. It’s a shame that clubs who generate vast revenues choose to exploit their very youngest supporters in this way.’
United fan and father-of-two Gareth Asomaning branded the prices ‘scandalous’. ‘Last year it cost me about £170 to kit us all out,’ he said. ‘This is something else.’
Self-employed Asomaning added: ‘My eldest, Hugo, is six but he’s big for his age so the minikit is no longer an option which means we’ll have to pay more and I’d bet there are thousands in the same category.
‘I think this year we are looking at around £300. It’s a disgrace.’
Asomaning rejected claims that parents could simply refuse to buy the kits: ‘Try telling that to someone who has two boys who love football,’ he added.
Asomaning believes the kits are just another part of the big football rip-off.
‘There used to be a new kit every two years and now it’s every year, which is a joke. It’s also tough to get to games so we have to get the TV packages.
‘This year, with