Soccer’s Biggest Underdog Made Many Fans, Not Shirts
Leicester City soccer team, unprepared for popularity, have run out of kits
New York: In its improbable run to the top of the English Premier League, the Leicester City soccer team has captured fans across the globe. If those converts want a team jersey, though, they’re out of luck. Unprepared for their sudden popularity, the Foxes have run out of kits.
The official club shop at King Power Stadium in Leicester sold the last of its stock months ago — even the mannequins have been stripped. The same is true in Thailand, the home of the team’s owners, where support for Leicester, a team that has never won a top flight title in its 132-year existence, has grown with each victory. On the team’s website, the only available apparel from this season’s uniforms is a pair of blue socks.
A team spokesman said this season’s “replica kit sales have broken all records, with unprecedented demand lea- ding to limited availability heading into the final stages of the season.” Puma SE, the team’s jersey maker, declined to comment. Andy Anson, the chief executive of Kitbag, which runs online stores of several of the world’s top soccer teams, including Manchester United and Real Madrid, said Leicester may be leaving as much as 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) on the table.
Teams typically buy a year’s worth of merchandise before the season starts, Anson said. Leicester, which barely hung on to its Premier League standing last season, didn’t anticipate becoming a global Cinderella.