Lehi James Shirt Detective

Tackling the Epidemic of Counterfeit Football Shirts

Football shirts, a cornerstone of the global football industry, have witnessed an unprecedented surge in sales, reflecting the sport's ever-growing popularity. However, with this boom in demand comes a pressing issue – the rise of counterfeit football shirts, a multimillion-pound industry that threatens not only customers but also football clubs, kit manufacturers, and the integrity of each league.

The Scope of the Issue

In the fiscal year ending 2022, the reported sales of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool kits alone reached a staggering 7 million units. This significant market share attracts criminals seeking illicit gains through the production and sale of counterfeit football shirts. According to reports from the Premier League and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), £2.6 million was confiscated from fake football shirt sellers. However, this figure is likely just the tip of the iceberg, with countless other illicit operations evading detection.

The economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy in 2020, as estimated by the government, amounted to a staggering £9 billion. This underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to combat this growing threat to the football industry.

Law Enforcement Initiatives

While law enforcement agencies have made commendable efforts to address the issue, the reality is that they face budget constraints, with resources prioritized for what are often deemed more substantial crimes. As a result, a dedicated and specialized approach is required to effectively combat the complex web of counterfeit football shirt operations.

Our Proposal

Lehi James is currently monitoring over 18 websites openly selling counterfeit football shirts. These platforms are directly linked to factories and warehouses within the country, as well as international networks. Our comprehensive plan aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of fake football shirts and save millions of pounds annually.

  1. Dedicated Task Force: We propose the establishment of a specialized task force, solely focused on investigating and dismantling counterfeit football shirt operations. This team would have the expertise and resources to navigate both online and physical marketplaces, identifying and neutralizing illicit networks.

  2. Collaboration with Authorities: Lehi James advocates for close collaboration between the private sector and law enforcement agencies. By working hand-in-hand, we can share intelligence, leverage technology, and coordinate efforts to swiftly tackle counterfeit operations at every level.

  3. Global Cooperation: Recognizing the international nature of the counterfeit trade, our plan extends beyond national borders. By fostering collaboration with international law enforcement agencies, we can disrupt the entire supply chain of fake football shirts, from production to distribution.

  4. Legislation and Advocacy: We propose advocating for stronger legislation against counterfeit activities and raising awareness about the economic and social impacts of purchasing fake football shirts. This will create a deterrent effect and empower consumers to make informed choices.


The issue of counterfeit football shirts is not merely a concern for the football industry but a broader societal challenge. Lehi James is committed to playing a pivotal role in the fight against counterfeit operations, safeguarding the interests of customers, football clubs, kit manufacturers, and football teams. We welcome the opportunity to present our detailed plan and collaborate in the collective effort to eliminate this threat and preserve the integrity of the beautiful game. If you want any further information or to speak to us please contact us directly.