You can always tell the moment when a news story mutates into some sort of virtual vomitorium for the permanently outraged denizens of social media - it’s when the Prime Minister clambers aboard the bandwagon.

Yes, David Cameron has taken time away from his main duties of running the country, averting war in Europe and trying to cheer up Nick Clegg after his latest pasting from Nigel Farage, and has turned his attention to football shirts.

As you may have seen, Nike are flogging England World Cup football tops for the bargain price of £90.

“It's very expensive. I've got an eight-year-old boy, he's a massive football fan,” said cash-strapped David, 47.

"Parents are under enormous pressure to buy the latest kit and we shouldn't be taken advantage of,” added the hardworking dad of three, who works round-the-clock in the House of Commons to support his family.


If people don't buy them then the price will have to come down. That’s the way of the market, right?"


The FA defended its partnership with Nike, pointing out that it is a not-for-profit organisation that puts £100 million back into the game every year.

That’s the FA, not Nike. Nobody is accusing Nike of being a not-for-profit organisation.

It seems to me a bit much for a Conservative Prime Minister, of all people, to be taking up the cudgels against Big Business on matters such as this.

After all, it’s not compulsory for people to buy the shirts. And if people won’t buy them at this price then the prices will have to come down until stock starts to shift.

That’s the way of the market, right?

Unless it’s a public company, of course, in which case you get your friends in the City to sell it off for less than what it’s worth and all dip your bread in those juicy share price gains.

If football fans want to spend 90 quid on a football shirt then that’s their problem, not the Prime Minister’s.

The Conservative response to this has been wholly irritating. Sports Minister Helen Grant (probably once it had been explained to her that these were football shirts, not rugger or cricket or whatever) also weighed into the debate.

“On £90 England football shirts for fans, it's not right. Loyal supporters are the bedrock of our national game - pricing needs a rethink,” she said.

As usual, these Tories seem to want it every way.

Still, there should be a good second-hand market in shirts used by the team themselves in Brazil. After all, they’ll only be worn three times…

Alan Tyers ghost-wrote the autobiography of football legend Ronnie Matthews. 

This article is the opinion of Alan Tyers and not necessarily that of BT.