When Bert Patrick´s knitwear company, Admiral, started producing the official England football kit - the first to include the manufacturer´s logo on the chest - he paid the Football Association £15,000 a year for the privilege. The revolutionary deal, in 1974, allowed Admiral to sell British-made replica shirts to supporters for £5 - increasing to £9 with shorts and socks included.
 
Now Nike, the current England kit manufacturer, has a £25 million sponsorship deal with the FA, and charges fans up to £90 for a replica shirt.

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Fake England football shirts and memorabilia worth £250,000 has been seized in a raid in the Black Country, just hours before the World Cup began.
 
More than 2,000 of the seemingly-flawless fakes, complete with real-looking branding, price tags and labels, were taken by trading standards officers from two houses in Wednesbury.
 
Officers at Sandwell Council said the copies were so good that even they were fooled. It was only when they scanned the barcodes that the shirts were revealed to be fakes. Officers raided the two homes after a tip-off about the shirts being sold on Facebook for £20 to £30, while a real Nike England shirt could cost £90.

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Female supporters have been invited to get behind the national side ‘with an extra dose of style’, by sporting a more revealing version of the Selecao’s famous canary-yellow kit.
 
Nike have teamed up with the Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenco to produce a low-cut replica of the shirt, which will be available since the tournament’s opening ceremony on June 12.

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I tried to understand the mentality: did these men – these grown men – think wearing the kit made them a little bit like the players? Did they think that it made them look athletic? (Note: it doesn´t. Football kits are designed for rugged, chiselled, athletic men; athletes, in other words.
 
And sports fans are many things but rugged and chiselled are not generally among them.) Were they playing dress-up, like little children? Was it a talisman for luck? But then I started working on the fashion desk of this very newspaper and this gave me an unexpected insight into the mind of the football supporter.

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Nearly 8,000 of you voted after we launched our Back to Blue alternative shirts campaign last week. Now we can reveal the winner. Thousands of you voted for your alternative blue Cardiff City fans shirts - but the two most popular designs were separated by just four votes.
 
We had a two-horse race on our hands throughout and after a total of 7,663 votes were cast, we can reveal the winner. The jersey you will be able to wear with pride next season is shirt three, which won 2,572 votes. The blue background with a yellow and white vertical stripe was inspired by designs of the 70s, which were worn by the likes of Robin Friday.

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Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust has been working hard to get an ‘alternate’ blue kit on the market. The Trust has collaborated with manufacturer Kukri, commissioned a series of designs and ran a vote in the local press. The four designs, including a classic blue with white trim and the iconic 70′s shirt with yellow and white horizontal stripes, all have their merits and all have one thing in common; blue.
 
The idea is that the winning kit, announced Monday June 16, will go on sale from the Trust’ office with a portion of the sales going to Ty Hafan. The shirts are of great quality, made by a proper sports manufacturers, and will cost £27. Very reasonable when a red shirt from the club shop costs upwards of £40

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Birmingham City FC have unveiled their new principal commercial partner and shirt sponsor for the next two seasons. Blues have teamed up with payment app company Zapaygo in a deal which sees the Staffordshire firm’s brand adorn all the club’s playing and replica kits for 2014/15 and 2015/16.
 
Fans will also benefit from exclusive offers and competitions. The previous agreement with charity Help Harry Help Others to carry its logo on academy team kits has ended but the charity is expected to be involved with the club going forward.
 
The Zapaygo app is a lifestyle payment app which enables users to pre-order products from smart phones and tablets.

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As an elite footballer, would you pay to swap your jersey with a fellow player — say, Lionel Messi? That’s the question Iran’s footballers have been pondering before boarding the plane to Brazil. Befuddled yet?
 
Ali Kaffashian, the president of the Iranian Football Federation, who has been on a cost-cutting spree, created a firestorm when he spoke of players being economical with their kits. “We are not giving the players a shirt for every game,” Kaffashian said. “The players have to be economical with the shirts.”

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In the 1980s an England fan´s World Cup wardrobe would be a replica shirt or a flag around the shoulders, but after the controversy of Nike´s £90 team kit it can now be revealed that there are almost 100 pieces of branded clothing available for the 2014 tournament.
 
A raft of expensive England merchandise has gone on sale around the world ahead of the World Cup next week, including 78 pieces of clothing that would cost a family of diehard supporters more than £3,200 to collect.

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Last week, Plymouth Argyle announced an new partnership with LTC Powered Access, whose company logo will adorn the front of their shirts for the next two seasons.
 
LTC, a proud Plymouth-based company, understand that wearing the replica strip means a lot to the Green Army, and therefore are asking supporters to assist in the production of next year´s home kit, to make it a jersey to be proud of.
 
If you head to the LTC Powered Access website, you will discover a poll asking you to select between two design options: one incorporates LTC Powered Access´ existing logo in company colours, while another adapts it to shades of green and white.

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