How to Tell If a Football Shirt Is Fake: 5 Telltale Signs

How to Tell If a Football Shirt Is Fake: 5 Telltale Signs

If you’re wondering how to tell if a football shirt is fake, you’re not alone. 

With more and more people losing their well-earned cash to fake football shirts, knowing how to recognise what’s fake and what’s the real deal is a must! 

Here at MysteryFootball, each and every one of our football shirts is checked by our in-house expert team to ensure it is 100% authentic. 

“Fake football shirts are extremely harmful to the beautiful game that we all love. Not only do fake shirts disappoint fans who unknowingly purchase them, but they can also harm the reputation of brands, manufacturers, and clubs. Here at MysteryFootball we pride ourselves on ensuring all our shirts are sourced from trustworthy sources, or direct from the manufacturers or clubs themselves, whilst also thoroughly checking each individual shirt that passes through our warehouse.”

Matt Cole - Founder and Managing Director of MysteryFootball

You can rest assured that any purchase from us is a genuine football shirt. 

We want to make sure that you don’t fall victim to these fake football shirt sellers, so keep reading to find out how to tell if a football shirt is fake. 

5 Ways to Tell If a Football Shirt Is Fake

Unfortunately, fake football shirts are only increasing in circulation. 

So much so, that before the 2022 World Cup, the police captured more than £500,000 worth of fake England football shirts!

You can only imagine the ‘profit’ that would’ve been gained from selling these fake shirts - putting you out of pocket and without an authentic shirt. 

Therefore, it’s becoming even more important to stay vigilant when purchasing a football shirt! Here are a few things to consider.

1. The Price


We understand that it can be hard to justify expensive purchases - especially when there are cheaper, fake alternatives available. 

However, if you get your shirt on the cheap and it doesn’t last as long as you need, how much money are you actually saving when having to shell out for a replacement sooner than you’d planned?

It is, of course, your call - but quality is definitely worth factoring into the price tag.

By spending a little bit more, you get the longevity that comes with an authentic football shirt. This allows you to wear it time and time again with no worries. 

Looking to save money? Take a look at our Mystery Football box subscription service and receive a new shirt each month (with no repeats) at a great price. 

A win-win!

2. Check the Detailing

magnifying glass inspecting football shirt

This is one of the most important aspects of knowing how to tell if your shirt is fake. 

There are a few areas to consider:

  • Colours - Usually, a fake football shirt has a slightly different colour than the original shirt. It may just be a subtle shade difference, or, on the other end of the spectrum, it could be a brighter hue. Either way, it is an easy way to spot a fake shirt. 
  • Printing - If the shirt you’re after has a specific pattern, the printing of it and its accuracy is another way to tell if your shirt is a fake. It is worth pulling up an image of the authentic shirt to compare with before buying. 
  • Material - More and more brands are using unique fabrics to create their shirts - for example, Nike’s innovative Dri-FIT material. Therefore, you can check the label to ensure that the materials match up. If they don’t, you know you have a fake!
  • Stitching - Any jaggedy, weak, or broken stitching is a telltale sign that the football shirt is a fake. However, creators of these fake shirts are disguising this by placing it on the inside of the shirt. So, it’s worth checking inside your shirt too to get real answers.

3. Only Use Trusted Retailers

people shaking hands

By far the easiest way to ensure that your football shirt isn’t fake is to use a trusted website to purchase your shirt. 

But, how to know if the website is trustworthy?

Check out the website reviews as well as Trustpilot. 

At MysteryFootball, we have had more than 75,000 happy customers - and with a Trustpilot score of 4.3, you can ensure that you will get an authentic shirt as well as impeccable customer service. 

Okay so we may be a little biassed, but at least we can promise you that you will not get a fake football shirt from us!

4. Look for Official Branding 

stamp of approval for football shirt

Typically, fake football shirts have logos that look a little unusual. 

It could appear strange for a number of reasons, including:

  • The colouring
  • The font
  • The actual design 

Although you may think that they are usually easy to replicate, the producers of these fake football shirts tend to get it slightly wrong. 

Especially those logos that are unique, such as the ‘iridescent’ logo design on Chelsea’s 23/24 season kit.

5. Watch Out for the Terminology

person reading football terminology

Sometimes, fake football shirt sellers will use manipulative language to leave you confused and unsure if the shirt is genuine or not. 

For that reason, here’s a list of terminology that’s frequently used to deceive buyers. 

  • Replica - A replica football shirt isn’t a fake, it’s simply just a version created for fans!
  • Player issue - Player issue shirts are typically higher quality than replicas as they are worn on matchdays.
  • Retro - Retro football shirts are becoming even more popular - so much so that we even have a Retro Football Shirt Mystery Box! However, as you can imagine, retro shirts are harder to come by, giving fake shirt sellers ample reason to create them. Therefore, be vigilant when looking. 

Ensure You Don’t Get a Fake Football Shirt when You Shop with MysteryFootball!

There’s no other way to put it: fake shirts are bad for shirt collectors, clubs, and football supporters alike. 

That’s why, at MysteryFootball, our expert team carefully inspects and checks the authenticity of each and every shirt we sell. No matter your purchase, expect the real deal with every football shirt you add to your collection.

With a wide selection of shirts to choose from, you’re sure to find the football shirt you’re looking for. 

There really is nowhere better to build out your collection. Shop with MysteryFootball today.

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