Going to a football match for some is the be all and end all. Whether a supporter of Manchester United or AC Milan, a football fan has a number of different pieces of related clothing. Take for example the humble shirt. For many, the shirt is much more than just a piece of material. It is a symbol not to mention an identity of a supporter.
Across the globe, football is broken down by which shirt an individual has on their back. With all the corruption and recent FBI arrests of several FIFA representatives, their slogan is all about bringing football to the masses. Yet, a shirt performs this task to perfection and has become identifiable across a wide variety of nations. At the end of the day, soccer is a tribal sport where the shirt is one of the most significant parts of kit.
On the other hand, there is also the scarf which is waved furiously by a host of fans around the world. This particular piece is synonymous for many reasons and is not just an item to protect supporters from the bitter cold. The scarf became a symbol in the protests against Malcolm Glazer and his family. The Glazers own Manchester United Football Club and amid furor concerning their PIK loans and amassing debt fans stood up to them. As a result of this, the green and gold campaign was born which paid homage to United's former kit colours. This was previously worn by Newton Heath were actually later to transform into who we know as Manchester United.
However, thanks to the globalization of sport, fans can have the ability to choose from a wealth of novelty items. These have burst onto the market in the last decade which has paid dividends for many. But what are some of worst pieces of football merchandise?
For a cracking Christmas gift or something a little saucy then why not spend your dough on a thong and suspenders set? The gift from Manchester City is svelte and sleek which is sure to please any Blues fan. Supporters will certainly not be singing the blues in this little number. In spite of the fact that City did not go on to reclaim their English Premier League title, many ladies can go wild in their less than enticing matching lingerie products.
Many clubs come up short but garden gnomes seem to be all the rage. In fact, just last year, Arsenal launched their red gnomes in all their regalia. This is definitely not taking the mickey out of the likes of midfield maestros such as Jack Wilshere or Santi Cazorla. However, these pint sized products provide bags of fun with of course a large dash of novelty thrown in for good measure. It sure would be creepy if these things ever sprouted along the sidelines of the pitch at Emirates.
The end of the Premier League season may have come too soon for some football fans but the curtain has been well and truly drawn on this item. It may have been a dramatic end with the relegation of Hull City on the final day, but who would not raise a chuckle or two with bespoke Aston Villa curtains. Guaranteed to not be made from the finest Egyptian cotton, Villa fans can decorate their rooms with this garish product at a bewildering price of $60.
If Blues fans were not content enough with the capture of the English Premier League for the first time in five years, then take a look at their hubcaps. The genuine article bar none, these hubcap rims can adorn any vehicle and are selling in the Far East among other countries. Forget the run of the mill baseball cap, this seems to be the genuine article and now fans can ride around in their own pimped out cars.
11 World Travel Adaptor
Flying all around the world is now easier thanks to the Everton USB travel adaptor. A pointless marketing exercise if ever there was one, the Toffees introduced this particular product with the genuine Everton logo on it. Now fans can get up close and personal wherever they might be and all for just $25. Had it not had a football symbol anywhere near it, a consumer would be paying significantly less for this specific item. How does this make you any more of a fan?
10 Mario Balotelli Air Freshener
If fans want to come up smelling like roses then why not purchase a bespoke air freshener? For those Liverpool fans who have seen their season crumble to footballing dust, they can cheer themselves up with this handy little Mario Balotelli Air Freshener. Hang it in the back seat as well as the front, Merseysiders can smell the true scent of a League title winner. With a bargain price tag of less than $5 what is not to like about this piece of merchandise? The only question remaining is, does Mario Balotelli actually smell like that?
9 Morph Suit
With all the trials and tribulations taking place at Newcastle United, the last thing they want is to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Well take a look at the Newcastle United morph suit. This all in one lycra body stocking is a real hit with the Geordies, especially at fancy dress outfit. Maybe Mike Ashley could have worn one in order to conceal his identity after being lambasted for the majority of the season. This was for a period sold in their online club store for around $30. In addition to this, for that special lady, the Toon Army have also come up with a similarly matching outfit. Named the Toon tottie outfit, this item needs no words to describe its comic appearance. It comes complete with a small Newcastle top hat not to mention frilly dress and stockings. These are all of course decked out in the clubs infamous black and white colours.
8 Little Mascot Outfit
Back to Anfield we go again and Liverpool are churning out some of the most garish merchandise the Premier League has ever seen. This time round it is all to do with the Liver bird which adorns the official emblem of the club. For around $35 kids can be dressed in head to toe in this adorable little outfit and be the envy of all their friends! Don't forget that it features top, trousers and the attached boot tops. This is all finished off with the individual headpiece for good measure.
7 Snow Globe
There have already been several clubs that have adopted this item including the like of Swansea City. Yet even Gary Monk does not have a crystal ball as Southampton also have their own version. The Saints snow globe can be utilised as a handy paper weight if necessary. Meanwhile, it will be down to manager Ronald Koeman who may be weighed down himself given the arduous task of attempting to emulate Southampton's form this year.
6 Tape Measure
Success is ultimately measured by the finer details. From an injury time winner to a small deflection, the sums are marginal when it comes to top flight football. If fans really want to get in on the act then Stoke City launched their very own tape measure. Fans can have the chance to find out if they measure up to the task quite literally. Furthermore, it will prove to be a handy resource when measuring the Potters' success next season after Mark Hughes guided Stoke to ninth position.
5 Sticky Tape
A fan knows more than anyone else how a team's dreams for the season can sometimes fall apart at the seams. From Real Madrid who have disposed of Carlo Ancelotti to Derby County who also dispatched of former England coach Steve MCclaren. With the Rams only winning two of their last 13 matches, the exit door was soon shown by the powers that be. Regretfully the Derby boss met a sticky end likewise with this Tottenham Hotspur Sellotape roll which can be purchased for around $5.
4 Chef Hat
The good people at West Bromwich Albion have come up with a culinary twist for their unique take on footballing merchandise. The chefs hat can be worn either up or down and can suit a variety of occasions. In the traditional colours of the club, the chef's hat is checked in blue and white. The Baggies fans will have a whale of a time in the kitchen with this little product. This looks like something the stadium chef should be wearing rather than a supporter.
3 Aston Villa Bread Press
What is the point of imprinting a message on a piece of toast that you're bound to consume in mere seconds? Even for five English pounds it seems like a waste. At some point, you may have a problem if you insist on supporting your team even at breakfast time. I can't imagine you'll be impressing too many people if you show this off at a household event. Pull this out and you may soon have friends over giving you an intervention over your obsession to sport your team's name and colours at every point of the day.
2 Soap Bar
Arsenal could face a slippery end to the season if they don't beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final. However, they may be able to wash all their footballing nightmares away with this handy soap bar. With a steep price of more than $20 this item has been seen in the official Arsenal shop. But paying such a high price for a bit of soap may not be all that it seems despite it featuring the official club crest.
1 Chopping Board
For Cardiff City and kitchen fans who want to get a little involved in the kitchen this chopping board might prove to be the ideal solution. This board is so special that you can even add a personalised message to it. If that is not enough then fans can adorn it with their name if they choose to. With a glass surface providing protection for the smallest of slips, this has already taken prized possession in many households.