Replica football shirts costing £ 107 made by sweatshop workers ‘at 75 pence an hour’
Replica football shirts that sell for £ 107.90 are made by factory workers who earn ‘only 75p an hour’.
Followers of Manchester City’s triple winners will shell out the huge sum for their special edition shirts – while Chelsea fans will pay £ 102.90 for a top to mark their victory in Europe.
But Nike shirts only cost around £ 3 to produce.
And the Thai workers who make them would earn the paltry sum of £ 7.53 for a 10-hour day.
For their £ 102.90, Chelsea and City fans receive a shirt with the name, number and markings of their favorite player commemorating their club’s success.
City’s most expensive shirt reaches £ 107.90 because it includes a badge on the shoulder.
The sales come as Chelsea won the Europa League and City won the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.
Arsenal were also hoping to cash with a similar high of £ 109 but reduced it to £ 98.99 after failing to win a trophy or qualify for the Champions League.
Unlike normal replicas, the jerseys are made of breathable fabric and are identical to those worn by players.
But even the Chelsea Supporters Trust said paying £ 102.90 was “particularly unfair as many supporters are already grappling with the financial commitment of buying season tickets”.
Liverpool, meanwhile, mark their European Cup victory with a European Champions jersey at £ 86.99 – and £ 74.99 for juniors.
Back in Thailand, activists claim Nike employees working 60 hours a week are paid £ 7.53 a day. The minimum living wage of £ 17.60 per day is considered sufficient to support an adult and two children.
The numbers come from the Clean Clothes Campaign. He says the kit makers have failed to improve the lives of workers, insisting, “Poverty in industry is not improving, it is getting worse.
Nike, Puma, Adidas and Under Armor have all been accused of failing to pay a single worker around the world a living wage.
Nike makes kits for Chelsea, Brighton, Watford and Tottenham.
Adidas is the brand behind the Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City kits. Puma will manufacture the new Man City kit, as well as Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.
A Clean Clothes Campaign report said the dire conditions facing garment workers needed urgent improvement.
Author Anna Bryher said: “Our message to brands is that human rights cannot wait and the workers who make the clothes sold in our stores must be paid enough to live with dignity.
Man City Club Shop)
Activist Neva Nahtigal added: “The workers who make almost all the clothes we buy live in poverty, while the big brands get richer from their work.
“It is time for brands to be held accountable for the operating system they created and which they benefit from.”
Prices for replica shirts soar once the tops leave the factories. Nike pays Chelsea £ 60million per season for the license to produce its replica kits.
City’s deal with Nike ends next month and a new deal has been signed with Puma worth £ 65million a year. Man United collects £ 75million a year from Adidas and sells around 1.5million kits a year.
They are made in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. United charged £ 110 for an ‘elite’ short-sleeved top last season – made by workers paid just 64p an hour. Women working in the factory have already told how they were ordered to make up to 100 shirts per hour. New Balance is making the kit from Liverpool in the Philippines, where the minimum wage is £ 8 a day and the terms have been criticized.
Umbro, which makes the 2019/20 kits for Bournemouth, Burnley and West Ham, also manufactures in Bangladesh, the scene of the 2013 tragedy in which 1,134 textile workers died in the Rana Plaza collapse. The unions called it a “mass industrial homicide” after the poorly maintained building collapsed.
Brands have since vowed to pay living wages and clean up their act. But the Clean Clothes Campaign says commitments are being ignored by third-party vendors who set pay rates.
Anna Bryher said: “Global brands and retailers have known for years that wages aren’t enough to live on, but they continue to make empty promises while raking in huge profits.”
The kit makers defended themselves last night. Nike said, “Everyone in Nike’s supply chain is entitled to sufficient compensation to meet basic needs and provide discretionary income. Nike’s code of conduct requires suppliers to pay at least the local minimum wage, including bonuses for overtime, benefits, and compliance with social insurance regulations.
Puma said its kits are made in China and Vietnam, adding, “We monitor our suppliers and our compliance program has been accredited by the Fair Labor Association since 2007. Our suppliers pay 21% above minimum wage and 84% above the minimum wage when including overtime and bonuses.
Adidas said its employees were among the “highest paid in the industry.” A spokesperson added: “We have strict procedures to ensure that individuals are paid and treated fairly. All clothing suppliers in Cambodia are subject to audits.
“We are also one of the very few companies in the industry to have fully disclosed their list of global suppliers.”
A Chelsea spokesperson said: “A number of supporters want to celebrate our Europa League victory by purchasing a commemorative shirt and we are happy to respond to this market. But Chelsea FC are selling the main replica shirt for £ 64.95 for adults and from £ 51.95 for children, according to other major European clubs.
Man City were approached for comment but did not respond last night.
The prices are a kit in the teeth say the parents
By Stephen Hayward and Alex Miller
Parents last night accused the brands of scamming their supporters over the prices of the kits.
They reacted when five Premier League teams revealed price increases for their high standards for next season – with some clubs being asked to follow suit.
The Liverpool short-sleeve junior jersey went from £ 39.99 to £ 47.99 while the new Bournemouth top went from £ 35 to £ 40.
Southampton and Brighton have increased their replica children’s short sleeve shirts from £ 40 to £ 42.
And Crystal Palace has increased by the same amount, from £ 38 to £ 40.
Justine Roberts, founder of the Mumsnet website, said: “Each season they seem to get more and more unaffordable. Eight in 10 parents on Mumsnet believe football merchandise is snapping up families, with children’s shirts costing up to £ 92.90.
“Unfortunately, many families do not have a footballer’s salary to cover the costs.”
The Sunday Mirror has checked the kits at all 20 Premier League clubs. Of the nine short-sleeved adult kits launched ahead of next season, five clubs have raised their prices while the other four have fixed them.
A Liverpool adult replica jersey now costs £ 59.99, up £ 5 from last season.
A source close to the club said Liverpool are working hard to keep their prices competitive. Southampton’s short-sleeved top went from £ 50 to £ 55 while Bournemouth increased theirs from £ 5 to £ 50.
Brighton and Crystal Palace both charge an additional £ 2 – up to £ 52 and £ 50 respectively.
Manchester United, Chelsea, West Ham and Leicester have set their prices, with adult sizes ranging from £ 55 to £ 65. The market for replica kits is worth £ 265million per year.
But club representatives have defended the growing cost to fans.
Bosses insist the new awards are in line with those of other top teams across Europe and reflect investments made in design, innovation, development and manufacturing.