Fake Football Shirts and the Rise of Counterfeiting

August 13, 2020

It’s that time of the year again. Premier League clubs are releasing their new kits for the upcoming season, with fans rushing out to spend their money on merchandise. Unfortunately, more than any other time of the year, counterfeit shirts are flooding the market. 

Counterfeit kits are created with the intention of deceiving or defrauding customers, with shirts that are designed to be an exact imitation of famous kits, often using inferior cheaper materials. This practice is illegal, infringing on the copyright of clubs and deceiving unwitting customers. For obvious reasons, the rise of counterfeiting constitutes a serious problem for clubs and fans alike.

Why is Counterfeiting on the Rise?

The reality is that counterfeiting is on the rise is because it’s a lucrative business. The high cost of legitimate football kits and the pressure to consistently buy them year-on-year, in order to signal the support for a club, has led many to search for cheaper alternatives. Now, more than ever, fans seem to be turning to counterfeits, with consumer demand reported to be on the rise in many recent studies. 

As well as the increase in interest in these illegal goods, counterfeiters have an easier time selling their product than they did in the past. Before the rise of ecommerce, counterfeits were generally distributed by street vendors. These were easily combatted by the authorities, as the vendor could be arrested and the product seized. Since the move to online stores, detection and law enforcement have become more and more difficult. Many counterfeiters now use social media and websites to sell and advertise their fakes. The use of fake identities often make it almost impossible to locate and punish counterfeiters and the nature of online transactions makes it hard to seize the illegal product. It is also far easier than ever for these criminals to effectively reach an international customer base, leading to more foreign groups becoming involved. Essentially, the demand for counterfeits has risen and the increasingly connected world has allowed counterfeiters to sell and produce more easily, culminating in an increase in counterfeit football merchandise. 

Most of the counterfeit kits we see are produced in areas with low labour cost, like central and south-east Asia. The criminals running the counterfeit schemes will often exploit vulnerable groups, in order to keep their costs down. All of this is in the effort to reduce the price of their product, so they can appeal to football fans and offer a dirt-cheap alternative to the £60 shirts and £100 boots we have become accustomed to.

The Issue with Counterfeiting

The illegality of counterfeiting is reason enough for most not to support the practice. That being said, the aforementioned exploitation of impoverished workers on the production chain is perhaps the most worrying problem associated with counterfeits. The difference in cost between counterfeits and genuine merchandise is mostly made up for in labour and material costs and quality assurance. 

Football counterfeits are rife on most social platforms but FutbolMarkt provides an alternative. Each listing is vetted and counterfeits are banned. Every product you see on the marketplace is genuine!

Here at FutbolMarkt, we also offer advice when buying football shirts, check out our insider tips to spot a fake football shirt.

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