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Soccer shirts in short supply as deliveries from Asia delayed

Fans left frustrated as Premier League season kicks off

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes signs shirts for fans at a preseason match in Bangkok. Replica shirts are big business for the world's most famous soccer clubs.   © Reuters

LONDON -- The unveiling of a new shirt in early summer ahead of a fresh soccer season is an annual and lucrative tradition for clubs in England. With the English Premier League's 2022-23 campaign kicking off on Friday when Crystal Palace meets Arsenal, however, supply chain issues have left gaps in club stores up and down the country.

In late July, the BBC reported that just 44 out of the 92 clubs in England's top four divisions had both new shirts -- home colors as well as those worn on the road -- on sale. As many as 19 teams had neither available for fans to buy.

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