Last week B&T reported on the world’s 50 most valuable football (soccer) brands and, unsurprisingly, every team on the list was European, while Manchester United easily topped the list with a global brand value of $US1.17 billion (although its playing stock is worth considerably more). Check out the full list here.
But it appears Man Utd may be worth billions but it’s not without its penny pinching, too. The UK’s The Sun newspaper is reporting that players are no longer to swap shirts with opposing players at the end of each match.
To ensure players adhere to the rule, they’ve been issued with four shirts for the entire season – two short-sleeved and two long-sleeved.
A source from the fabled club was quoted in the news article as saying: “They are asked not to swap shirts so they don’t have to be replaced. It seems daft given how much the club is worth.”
However, the real reason behind the shirt swap is probably more to do with sponsor dollars. Kit sponsor adidas and brand sponsor Chrysler pay a motza for the privilege to be adorned across the Red Devil’s famed scarlet shirt. It’s believed their sponsors are none to happy seeing their logos draped across opposition teams (particularly if they’ve won!)
It’s also been reported that when players remove their shirts to hand to opposing players, they often have a sports skin underneath that reveals rival sportswear company logos.
In 2014, Manchester United signed a £750m ($A1.3 billion) 10-year kit deal with adidas in 2014. At the time, adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said: “We expect total sales to reach £1.5 billion ($A2.6 billion) during the duration of our partnership.”