Replica shirts

2022/23 football kits: why is there a delay on the new shirts?

The new EFL Championship season kicks off on Friday, with the Premier League starting the following week

Part of the excitement in preparing for any new football season is the arrival of your club’s new football kit – stripes now being a fashion statement, as well as a sign of loyalty and identity.

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However, BBC analysis has revealed that securing the latest club colors is currently proving difficult for the majority of England’s top football teams.

So why are football shirts rare – and how many clubs have been affected?

Here’s what you need to know.

Chelsea FC have not launched their away kit – although it is unclear whether the delay was intentional or as a result of Covid concerns (Image: Getty Images)

Why are football shirts delayed?

Usually, football clubs like to release their latest kits a few weeks before the new season.

Not only is this period lucrative for clubs – football league shirts tend to cost at least £50 – but it gives their sponsors a boost when fans show up for home and away games wearing the new bands.

However, most clubs at the higher levels of the football pyramid will not be able to offer fans their full range of 2022/23 kits in time for the start of the season.

The Ever Ace hangs over a freighter in Sri Lanka (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Covid is the main reason for this problem.

According to sports news site The Athletic, which first published the story, strict Covid-19 lockdowns in China and Vietnam have forced factories to close in both countries.

Given that they are responsible for making most football kits – or at least the materials that go into them – these shutdowns have proven to be very problematic for supplies.

These issues were then compounded by Covid-related supply chain issues.

NationalWorld have found several teams, including Gillingham FC, who do not have their 2022/23 kits available for purchase – Gillingham did not respond to a request for comment (Image: NationalWorld)

Lecturer in football finance at the University of Liverpool, Kieran Maguire, told the BBC that a lack of container ships and backlogs at ports were creating problems.

Not only has this stopped many fans from buying a new kit, but it means some teams have yet to officially launch all of their kits for the 2022/23 season – which can clearly be seen in the Premier’s handbook. League.

Others only offer a new kit for pre-order.

Several club websites, NationalWorld, consulted with fans warned to expect delays.

Crystal Palace and Leeds United are among the teams that have had supply chain issues (Image: Getty Images)

When will the football kit delays be resolved?

Although Covid-related issues are at the root of football kit supply problems, they are affecting clubs in different ways.

That means it’s hard to predict when the full range of bands will be available.

According to the media, most are not expected to show up until August – potentially several games into the new season.

Mr Maguire told the BBC the issues should be sorted out by Christmas – the other peak time for shirt sales.

How many football clubs have kit supply problems?

According to BBC analysis, only 44 of the 92 EFL and Premier League teams have all of their new kits available to buy on their websites.

The remaining 48 teams have either:

  • Only their home kit available (22 clubs concerned)
  • Only their away jersey available (7 teams)
  • No kits available (19 teams)

Premier League sides Leeds United, Crystal Palace and Fulham currently have no kits available.

Bournemouth, Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool and Southampton have just one of their two main strips currently on sale, although some have indicated kit launches are underway.

It is unclear whether any of these kit launches have been delayed due to Covid-related supply issues.