Football the beautiful game with a worldwide following. Hardcore fans love to show support for their team in any way they can, from visiting stadiums on match day to brandishing the kit. But devotees who hope to wear their team’s colours are expected to cough up an increasingly eye-watering sum each year to get their hands on the most recent strip. 

Many fans of a Premier League football team have owned their club’s branded uniform at some point, with more than 21 million replica kits sold in 2022. But with prices rising year-on-year, coupled with the cost of living crisis, are football fans really getting the best side of the deal?

Join us for an action-packed game of smashing stats into the back of the net to find out which team kits have the most value for money and who could be due a red card.

Are Home kits better value for money?

Each club typically has three kits Home, Away, and Third, the latter reserved for when there is a clash of kit colours between teams. However, analysis of every Premier League game during the 2022/2023 season shows some interesting results. 

Unsurprisingly, purchasing a Home kit for any of the Premier League teams was the best way to get value for money spent because of how many times players wore their own version. 

Team that wore the most HOME KITS
Wolves 32
Leicester 31
Chelsea 30
Fulham 30
Spurs 30
West Ham 30
Everton 29
Liverpool 29
Brighton 28
Man Utd 28
Leeds 27
Nott Forest 27
Arsenal 26
Aston Villa 26
Bournemouth 26
Newcastle 26
Crystal Palace 25
Man City 25
Southampton 25
Brentford 23

All teams played at their home stadium and wore the appropriate kit more than 23 times, with at least six of the teams wearing the original uniform more than 30 times. This meant at least a 60% chance that all teams would wear their Home kit during a match, making it more likely for purchasing fans to wear what the pitch heroes were wearing. 

With the average shirt price across all 20 Premier League teams last season being just over £63, purchasing a Home kit was by far the best option in terms of value for money. For example, fans of Wolves who spent £55 on a shirt for their team essentially paid £1.71 for every game played at Home, making the purchase more reasonable.

The amount of times the Home kit is worn in a set number of games obviously has a knock-on effect on the number of times other kits are worn. As a result, fan value for money on those kits drops. 

Away and Third kits: The harsh reality

It makes sense for the main Home kit to be worn more times, but those that bought other versions inevitably end up paying more for fewer wears. Discrepancies begin to show when we compare the number of times Away kits and even Third strips were worn by each team. 

Arsenal was the only team who broke the double-figure mark with wears of their Away kit. Every other team falls further behind, with a wear percentage of under 25%.

Team that wore the most AWAY KITS
Arsenal 10
Crystal Palace 9
Nott Forest 9
Brighton 8
Southampton 8
Man Utd 7
Aston Villa 6
Brentford 6
Leeds 6
Liverpool 6
Newcastle 6
Chelsea 5
Everton 5
Man City 4
Bournemouth 4
Leicester 4
Spurs 4
West Ham 4
Fulham 3
Wolves 2

Overall, this led to 14 out of the 20 Premier League clubs having a price per wear for their Away kits of over £10. However, Wolves were the worst offenders here, with the Away kit only being rolled out for two games. Any fan who purchased that kit got a price per wear of £28. Following closely behind Wolves are Fulham at £20 and Spurs at £18.75, demonstrating poor value for money.

For many fans with teams in the Premier League, it makes more monetary sense for fans to bypass purchasing an Away shirt and instead opting for the Third kit. 

Team that wore the most THIRD KITS
Man City 9
Brentford 9
Bournemouth 8
Aston Villa 6
Southampton 5
Newcastle 5
Leeds 5
Fulham 5
Wolves 4
West Ham 4
Spurs 4
Everton 4
Crystal Palace 4
Man Utd 3
Liverpool 3
Leicester 3
Chelsea 3
Brighton 3
Nott Forest 2
Arsenal 2

Several teams wore their Third kit even more times than the Away shirts, including Brentford, Man City, Bournemouth, Fulham, West Ham, Spurs, and Wolves.

Other teams have a more even split, with the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle rotating between all three kits at a fairly equal rate for away games. All in all, if you’re purchasing a replica strip to match your favourite players, you’ll get more wear out of a Home kit and more out of a Third set than an Away strip.

The top 6 

The top 6 Premier League teams (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, and Spurs) command a premium price for fans to wear their team’s colours. On average, a kit for those teams would set you back nearly £70. For teams outside the top 6, the average drops to £59.29. 

The gap in value for money for fans of the top 6 doesn’t stop there either. The cheapest season ticket for these teams is £670, landing at £35.26 a game. When compared to the lowest season ticket prices for other teams, we can see a huge difference — the average within the group of 14 clubs is £470 or £24.73. 

It’s quite clear that there’s a premium attached to supporting a top 6 club, whether that’s replica shirt prices or season tickets. 

Good football shirt practice

Despite the overall poor value for money that fans of Premier League clubs have to contend with, some clubs are bucking the trend and showing good business and shirt practices. 

Bournemouth and West Ham offered an unsponsored shirt option during the 2022/2023 season, so fans can avoid becoming human billboards for all types of random companies. 

Brentford is also introducing an innovative strategy to promote sustainability. Their Home kits will now be used for a two-season cycle, so the kit used in the 2022/2023 season was actually the same as the one worn the season before. Re-using kits provides a great level of value for money to fans of Brentford, saving money on fresh shirts when the new season rolls around.

“Respectful, progressive and togetherness are our three core values at Brentford FC, as many of our fans know,” said Jon Varney, Brentford chief executive.

“We also believe in football being affordable for our fans and are aware of the need for the game to become more focussed on sustainability. As such, when we discussed the idea, everyone at the club was fully behind it.”

Brighton also rotate their Away kit into their Third kit for the following season, so fans have a chance to see the team run out in the kit again over a longer period. 

Wrapping up for full-time

It’s clear that some kits have more value for money than others, and it begs the question of whether the expected premium pay-outs made by supporting fans is feasible. In addition to the cost of match tickets and merchandise, fans spending money on Away and Third kits that are less likely to be worn face a strain on their wallet strings. 

Even taking this into account and purchasing a Home kit for value for money still costs £63 on average, which is in addition to the £200 average of season tickets for fans of the big players.

Despite the poor value for money that fans endure, there’s hope that the strategies being implemented by some Premier League clubs will become the rule rather than the exception.