Umbro has cut the number of new England replica away shirts that it planned to make over the next year by two thirds to one million – the lowest production run since 2001.

Umbro has cut the number of new England replica away shirts that it planned to make over the next year by two thirds to one million – the lowest production run since 2001.

The company, which holds a nine-year deal to supply kit to the England football team, said that it had taken the "brave" decision to help high street retailers coping with the fallout from England’s defeat to Croatia on Wednesday.

Steve Makin, Umbro’s chief executive, told The Times yesterday that the plan was being finalised with Sports Direct, run by Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of Newcastle United Football Club and the Sports World chain.

Sports Direct is committed to buying two thirds of all England tops from Umbro. Its shares plunged 15 per cent on Thursday after a profit warning in the wake of England’s defeat at Wembley.

More than two million replica home jerseys are expected to be left on the shelves this year after the national team’s dismal run of form under Steve McClaren, the head coach who was dismissed on Thursday after only 18 months in the job. The new 2008 away kit goes on sale on February 9.

Mr Makin said: "We clearly want to make sure Sports Direct take the volumes of England shirts they are committed to, but we have to be pragmatic at the same time.

"We have to support them and other retailers and the biggest thing we can do is to reduce the number of away jerseys we put into the market for next year, to ensure the stock left over this year sells through. It’s a tough decision but, we think, a brave one."

Mr Makin said that Umbro would look to accelerate its overseas expansion into countries such as China after England’s failure to qualify for the Euro 2008 championship in Austria and Switzerland.

Umbro expects to generate 80 per cent of its turnover from international markets by 2010, up from the present 60 per cent, and is targeting new ventures in Italy and Brazil. It is also preparing a £4 million advertising campaign, headlined "Bring It On", which begins on January 1 and will be supported by the leading England players John Terry and Michael Owen. The vast majority of the marketing spend will go on digital media rather than television and newspapers.

Mr Makin’s comments came as Nike, the American sportswear giant, took a step closer to completing a £285 million takeover by posting its offer document to the British company’s shareholders. He said that he fully expected the deal to go through, despite speculation that Mr Ashley and JJB Sports, his rival high street retailer, could oppose the acquisition. Under the terms of the deal, Nike requires approval from investors holding 75 per cent of Umbro’s shares.

Sports Direct, home to the Sports World and Lillywhites chains, has taken a 29 per cent stake in Umbro, while JJB owns a 9 per cent share. Analysts believe that the two retailers have taken stakes to protect their negotiating positions with Nike and Umbro, two of their biggest suppliers.

Mr Makin said: "You would have to ask Mike [Ashley] about his intentions, but the level of investment that Nike plans to put into the brand has got to be good for everyone.

"The product development they can bring to bear and the investment means the product will be more fashionable and technically advanced. That will benefit all stakeholders."

Nike has already committed to keeping the Umbro "Double Diamond" logo on England shirts until at least the end of the current contract in 2014 if it succeeds in buying the business.

Mr Makin, who will stay at Umbro under the Nike takeover, said: "We are in this for the long-term. We have a great relationship with the FA. We are going to have a tough year but we will move on."

Despite the "disappointment" over England’s defeat, nothing about Umbro’s core strategy would change. Since becoming chief executive Mr Makin has sought to reduce the company’s reliance on the UK and expand overseas. He said that Umbro would look to more than double the number of stores it has in China to 3,000 over the next three years. By 2011, he expects China to surpass Britain as the company’s biggest market. The proportion of Umbro profits derived from overseas markets is expected to double to 60 per cent of the total by 2010.

Mr Makin said: "We have a very rich heritage globally. Pelé’s Brazil team that won the World Cup in 1970 wore Umbro. What happened with the England team was disappointing, but it doesn’t change our strategy at all. It just accelerates it."

 

 

Comments (2)

  1. fsc
  1. fsc

Ha ha ha ha nobody wants an English jersey. CROATIA!!!!

 
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

LATEST FOOTBALL KITS

VfB Stuttgart 18/19 Puma Home Kit

VfB Stuttgart 18/19 Puma Home Kit

This is the new VfB Stuttgart 2018-19 home football shirt by Puma. This 125th anniversary home kit will be used during the 2018–19 Bundesliga, which…
Manchester City 17/18 Champions Shirt

Manchester City 17/18 Champions Shirt

With Manchester City champions of the Premier League for the third time in just seven years, Nike have designed a limited-edition pre-match jersey,…
Liverpool 2018/19 New Balance Home kit

Liverpool 18/19 New Balance Home kit

Liverpool FC's new 2018-19 home kit by New Balance has been revealed. The redesigned strip for next term retains the hugely popular retro styling and…
Chile 2018 Nike Away Kit

Chile 2018 Nike Away Kit

This is the new Chile 2018 Away football shirt by Nike. The graphic on La Roja’s away jersey was inspired by the Andean condor, Chile’s national bird…
Chile 2018 Nike Home Kit

Chile 2018 Nike Home Kit

This is the new Chile 2018 Home football shirt by Nike. Chile’s bright red not only informs the byname for the National Team, but also serves as the…
Botafogo 2018 Topper Third Kit

Botafogo 2018 Topper Third Kit

This is the new Botafogo 2018 third football shirt by Topper. The new third kit will be used during the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A which is…
Botafogo 2018 Topper Away Kit

Botafogo 2018 Topper Away Kit

This is the new Botafogo 2018 away football shirt by Topper. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A which is the…
Botafogo 2018 Topper Home Kit

Botafogo 2018 Topper Home Kit

This is the new Botafogo 2018 home football shirt by Topper. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A which is the…
Aldershot Town 18/19 Adidas Home Kit

Aldershot Town 18/19 Adidas Home Kit

Aldershot Town FC launched their new 2018-19 Adidas home shirt. The bepoke home shirt is a classic Shots design in red and blue, once again featuring…
Bahia 2018 SK1 Umbro Nations Shirt

Bahia 2018 SK1 Umbro Nations Shirt

The Bahia 2018 "SK1" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This Esporte Clube Bahia shirt…
Avaí 2018 Lion Bleu Umbro Nations Shirt

Avaí 2018 Lion Bleu Umbro Nations Shirt

The Avaí 2018 "Lion Bleu" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This Avaí shirt pays…

Cruzeiro 2018 Blár Víkingur Umbro Nations Shirt

The Cruzeiro 2018 "Blár Víkingur" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This Cruzeiro…
Gremio 2018 Charrúa Umbro Nations Shirt

Gremio 2018 Charrúa Umbro Nations Shirt

The Gremio 2018 "Charrúa" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This Gremio shirt pays…
Atlético Paranaense 2018 El Huracán Umbro Nations Shirt

Atlético Paranaense 2018 El Huracán Umbro Nations Shirt

The Atlético Paranaense 2018 "El Huracán" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This…
Santos 2018 The Kingdom Umbro Nations Shirt

Santos 2018 The Kingdom Umbro Nations Shirt

The Santos FC 2018 "The Kingdom" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This Santos shirt…
Chapecoense 2018 La Pasión Umbro Nations Shirt

Chapecoense 2018 La Pasión Umbro Nations Shirt

The Chapecoense 2018 "La Pasión" Umbro football shirt is part of the Umbro Nations collection which celebrates the 2018 World Cup. This Chapecoense…
Colombia 1990 Adidas Originals Home Replica Jersey

Colombia 1990 Adidas Originals Home Replica Jersey

Celebrating the world's top football competition, this Colombia 1990 Adidas Originals Home Replica Jersey is an exact copy of the uniforms worn by…
Santos 2018 Umbro Away Kit

Santos 2018 Umbro Away Kit

This is the new Santos FC 2017 away football shirt by Umbro. After six years, Umbro are back with Santos, the club with which they won several…
Santos 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Santos 2018 Umbro Home Kit

This is the new Santos FC 2018 home football shirt by Umbro. After six years, Umbro are back with Santos, the club with which they won several…
Flamengo 2018 Adidas Home Kit

Flamengo 2018 Adidas Home Kit

This is the new Clube de Regatas do Flamengo 2018 home shirt by Adidas. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A…