During the 2018/19 football season, the English Premier League seized more than 160,000 counterfeit football items worth over 5 million pounds sterling (approximately 5.7 million euros). This was announced by the Premier League organization at the annual Football Against Fakes conference.
In addition, the Premier League facilitated the deletion of more than 270,000 online offers for counterfeit fan articles. In terms of market value of the corresponding original products, the listed counterfeits would have earned the sellers in excess of 740,000 pounds sterling (ca. 840,000 euros).
Since the start of its anti-counterfeiting programme in 2007, the Premier League has reportedly removed counterfeits worth almost 30 million pounds sterling (around 34 million euros) from the market. This does not even include those counterfeits that were taken out of circulation based on the efforts of individual football clubs or the sporting goods manufacturers.
“We have made huge developments in tackling counterfeiting in football since creating our programme,” said a Premier League spokesperson. “No fan should feel the disappointment of purchasing inferior quality fake products.”
The Football Against Fakes conference also serves to establish important contacts with national and international law enforcement agencies and to involve authorities in brand protection. In addition to officials from the UK, authorities from Ireland and the USA were also present. Numerous football clubs exhibited their fan merchandise to demonstrate participating officials the difference between licensed goods and counterfeits.
Premier League clubs present included Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Watford and West Ham United. “We are committed to protecting our fans from counterfeit goods and this event helps forge relationships with UK Trading Standards, Customs and Law Enforcement Agencies as we work together to combat this issue,” explained Mark Pearson of Newcastle United.