If you’re anything like me, you’ll often wait for at least a few weeks before snapping up a shirt fresh from release. No matter how good the design looks at first glance, I want to mull over the decision before parting with a lot of my hard-earned cash (sometimes three figures if it’s a player issue shirt!).
Unfortunately this sort of patient attitude has its drawbacks, none more obvious than the fact that some shirts might be out of stock by the time you feel ready to pull the trigger.
This happened in a big way with the England home shirt this year. Now in many ways I should have got my act together with plenty of time to spare before the Euros, but for whatever reason I decided to bide my time and, well you know what happened. England charged on right through to the final, and early into the tournament fans duly responded by seemingly snapping up every last copy of the shirt in player issue and replica.
Is it possible to buy an England shirt now? What about other shirts that have sold out in the past, or are likely to sell out again? Let’s talk more on the subject.
Where can I buy an England shirt?
If you want to buy an England shirt at the time of writing (mid-July), your options range from non-existent to limited.
For England home shirts, there are almost none available at any retailer big or small. The closest I could find was an XXL with Jack Grealish on the back, but they are sold out for all intents and purposes.
Despite a complete absence from Euros action, the blue away shirt is now also virtually sold out. I was able to find just one site where it was available in L, but it’s the same story as the home where it’s basically impossible to buy one outside of anyone trying to cash-in on eBay.
Even the goalkeeper shirt is hard to find now, along with the popular red pre-match/training shirt which many people liked better than the away.
You haven’t necessarily missed the boat completely (as we’ll discuss shortly), but if you are keen then be prepared for a nervous waiting game.
Why did the England shirt sell out?
It’s perhaps a funny question to ask but, why exactly did the England shirt sell out? Surely Nike should have been prepared for a massive rush of orders, given that the Euros was effectively happening on England’s doorstep (at least for England themselves)?
Whether a simple act of miscalculation or something more devious, Nike ran out of England home shirts early into Euro 2020, and the story is one that’s been repeated several times since 2018.
In 2018, the popular Nigeria shirt reached a level of interest unlike any other football shirt I’d ever seen. Images of long queues outside Nike stores on the day of its release were more akin to what we used to see at the launch of a new iPhone or Call of Duty, and headlines that the shirt had sold out in mainstream media only helped to fuel the hype.
Despite ridiculous prices on eBay as soon as the afternoon of its release day, and a flood of subsequent fake shirts, the shirt was eventually restocked, and some of the second batch even made it to the clearance section of one or two sites.
Will the England shirt be restocked?
All signs point to the England shirt being restocked later this year. Based on the trajectory of the Nigeria shirt, we might have to wait several months for more kits to be available, but Nike will of course be keen to capitalise on the success of the Three Lions this year.
There is one wrinkle to bring up however, which I trust won’t bring any bad luck into the situation.
Back in 2019/22, two high profile Nike shirts sold out early and never made it back for round 2. Inter Milan and Roma’s third shirts that season proved extremely popular, and after selling out just weeks after their launch they were never to be seen again. Both shirts were seen on sale for well over £100 at the end of the season, a stark contrast to the typical end of season sales you’d hope to see on your favourite designs.
The bespoke designs would’ve easily sold out again given their popularity, and the assumption was that the shirts were never made for production reasons, despite the size of the clubs involved.
The best course of action for anyone wanting to buy England shirts is to wait patiently, as difficult as that is. Though there’s the outside chance that we have another Inter 2019 third situation on our hands, we’re much more likely going through a course of Nigeria 2018.
Hopefully, at least.