As part of their new Anti-Counterfeiting Programme (ACP), the Premier League, alongside a team from Westminster Trading Standards, recently carried out raids at a number of retailers in central London seizing counterfeit merchandise in the process.
The retailers were targeted following intelligence work carried out initially by United, and followed on in partnership with the ACP, leading to goods with a street value of approximately £50,000 being seized. Along with counterfeit shirts, a host of different merchandise was seized including scarves, drinks bottles and wallets.
The presence of several Premier League clubs, as well as the FA, was invaluable in identifying the infringing items, as increasingly counterfeit shirts and other merchandise are of such a high standard that it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit items. In several cases the shops targeted by the raids were mixing in counterfeit shirts with genuine shirts, and then selling the goods on at close to genuine retail prices.
The next step for the ACP will be to investigate suppliers, distributors and importers of counterfeit merchandise. These raids are the beginning of an organised effort to halt the flow of counterfeit football merchandise. Further raids will continue, in conjunction with both Trading Standards and the Police.
If any retailers or members of the public suspect counterfeit United products are being sold, they should contact the club's Trade Marks department at: firstname.lastname@example.org