David Cameron has given his backing to calls for a “rethink” of the £90 price tag on a new replica England football shirt.
The prime minister’s spokesman said Cameron agreed with the sports minister Helen Grant, who said that the price being asked for a Nike “match shirt” identical to the ones that will be worn by players in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil was “not right”.
An adult “stadium” England shirt is priced at £60, while shirts for children aged between eight and 15 cost £42 with mini-kits priced at £40.
Grant took to Twitter to say: “On £90 England £football shirts for fans, it’s not right. Loyal supporters are the bedrock of our national game – pricing needs a rethink.”
On £90 England #football shirts for fans, it’s not right. Loyal supporters are the bedrock of our national game – pricing needs a rethink.
— Helen Grant MP (@HelenGrantMP) April 2, 2014
Cameron’s spokesman said: “He does agree with Helen Grant. I’m sure all fans would welcome a rethink.”
The spokesman said it was “clearly not” for the government to set the price of football shirts. “It is a matter for the manufacturers and the FA, but does he agree with Helen Grant that £90 is a great deal of money for a replica shirt? Absolutely. Would a rethink by the manufacturer be welcomed by all fans? I’m sure that would be the case.”
The previous Nike kit has only been available since last May – for seven England matches – after the manufacturer took over from Umbro.
The shadow sports minister Clive Efford said the price of the shirts was “disappointing” while QPR’s once-capped former England midfielder Joey Barton called it “appalling”.
The Football Association said it avoids any involvement with kit manufacturers about pricing. Nike is selling other national team kits, such as Portugal’s, for exactly the same prices.
“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,” an FA statement read.