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Chelsea rise to 4th in global kit sales

Martin Rose - Getty Images

Chelsea FC are breaking into the game's true elite. And I don't just mean on the field. According to Sporting Intelligence, the Blues are fourth overall in global shirt sales over the past five seasons, rising above the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Bayern Munich (their vanquished opponents in the 2012 Champions League final). Here's the top ten:

  1. Manchester United: 1,400,000 shirts per season.
  2. Real Madrid: 1,400,000.
  3. Barcelona: 1,150,000.
  4. Chelsea: 910,000.
  5. Bayern Munich: 880,000.
  6. Liverpool: 810,000.
  7. Arsenal: 800,000.
  8. Juventus: 480,000.
  9. Inter Milan: 425,000.
  10. AC Milan: 350,000.

One interesting thing to note from these numbers is that clubs don't really sell that many kits (and they don't get that much money from them anyway, because they're not the manufacturers). A look through any football team's books indicates that shirt sales are a significant, but not huge part of income, and these figures mesh with that.

Shirt sales, however do indicate the strength of a global brand, and positive numbers for Chelsea will impact commercial deals. Strong numbers for the Premier League also imply better overseas television deals and a competitive advantage in Europe. In other words, hurray Chelsea.

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