England Uniforms - Advertising

Commercial advertisements are a universal  feature on English football club shirts, but, apart from the manufacturer's logo, they have yet to appear on the national side's jerseys.

On 24 July 1979, a sad day for football purists, Liverpool announced their players' shirts would bear the logo of the club's sponsor, Hitachi, during the forthcoming 1979-80 season in all but televised matches, for which Football League rules still outlawed shirt advertising.  The rest of the top-flight clubs soon followed suit in tapping this lucrative source of revenue, and the televised games restriction was dropped.  On 19 March 1984, the Football Association agreed to allow sponsor names to appear on players' shirts in the forthcoming F.A. Challenge Cup final.   UEFA prohibited commercial shirt logos in its European club competitions until the 1985-86 season, the first in which English clubs were banned from European competition following the Heysel Stadium tragedy. 

Since the 1974-75 season, when England first wore the Admiral kit under a new commercial arrangement in which the shirt manufacturer paid royalties for the right to promote and sell replica England uniforms, the logo of the shirt manufacturer has appeared on the England shirt (although the Umbro insignia had been visible on the goalkeeper's jersey earlier in the 1970s).  Over time, the manufacturer's logo has become more prominent, and it now appears not only on the jersey but also on the shorts and socks.  

Since the present shirt manufacturer, Umbro, is also one of the England team sponsors, it could be argued that the Football Association already has allowed a sponsor's logo to appear on the England jersey.  In any event, some would consider it a short step from allowing the manufacturer's logo on the shirt to allowing a sponsor's logo to appear.

Still, although the England team have had sponsors since 1994, the Football Association has thus far resisted the financial lure of allowing commercial logos other than the shirt manufacturer's to appear on the national side's jerseys.  And FIFA and UEFA have thus far refused to allow sponsor logos in national team tournament play.  Yet these football governing bodies have had the matter under consideration, and it may well be only a matter of time before they yield to the relentless lure of further profit and sponsor advertising of some sort adorns or mars--take your pick--the England shirt.  In our view, putting commercial logos on an England jersey alongside the three-lions emblem would be unsightly and unseemly, and we hope the Football Association continues to spare us that indignity.