Manchester United's £750m deal proof that fans are being ripped off?

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A lot of fuss was made about the recent announcement that Adidas had signed a £750million deal to make Manchester United’s kit for the next ten years. Adidas chief-executive Herbert Hainer said: “We expect total sales to reach £1.5bn during the duration of our partnership”.

This then prompted a debate on TalkSport’s ExtraTime, in which presenter Mike Graham expressed his outrage at the liberties being taken against your average football fan. Graham claimed that fans were being ripped off left right and centre by football clubs who are able to charge exorbitant sums of money on an annual basis for football shirts, as well as other items that football fans pay out for over the course of a football season.

Do clubs charge too much?

It made me think about something my father always says whenever he hears people grumbling about how much it costs to support top flight football teams these days. My father always says: “Clubs will only charge what people are willing to pay! There is no use complaining about it. You either pay or you don’t”.

It’s a very simple, but accurate comment to make.

Every year, clubs release new football kits and then charge punters ludicrous sums to purchase one. Parents are forever complaining at how much it costs to kit their kids out in their clubs’ colours.

It’s very simple, stop buying the kits and the clubs will have to lower the prices. If clubs aren’t shifting shirts, the prices will soon plummet. However, the shirts keep getting sold no matter how often or how high the price goes, so why should the clubs or manufacturers charge less?

Do they honestly care if the fans are disgruntled? Of course they don’t.

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Other cases

The same applies with season tickets, match day tickets, programmes and even refreshments at grounds. Every season people complain at the rising costs. What they fail to understand is that it’s a vicious cycle that won’t end until the fans collectively take a stand and stop buying the merchandise that is being offered to them.

Nobody is forcing them to pay these prices; it’s a choice that they make willingly.

So next time you want to rant and rave at the Manchester Uniteds and Adidas’ of this world, why not stop and think about the part you can play in stopping the rising cost of supporting your teams.

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