Which? has warned JJB Sports it intends to sue on behalf of people who have been unlawfully overcharged for football shirts.
The sportswear retailer was one of seven companies fined by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2003 for running a cartel that unlawfully fixed the price of England and Manchester United football shirts in 2000 and 2001.
Using its new legal powers under the Enterprise Act 2002, Which? is the only organisation in the UK so far given powers to launch a representative action of this kind.
Although JJB Sports has paid a £6.7m fine to the government, Which? now plans to bring an action for damages to pay back the people who were overcharged.
We’re appealing to people who bought certain shirts during 2000 and 2001 – even if they no longer have a receipt – to log onto our football shirts website and register their claim.
If Which? succeeds in winning a pay-out to consumers at the Competition Appeals Tribunal, it will be able to deal the payment back out to those who were ripped off.
Which? Online Editor, Malcolm Coles says: ‘We hope it will soon be payback time for JJB Sports.They ripped off their customers, so we think it’s only fair they should have to pay them back.
‘A case like this has never been launched before, so we need as much evidence as we can get. If you bought an England or Manchester United football shirt in 2000 or 2001, register your claim at which.co.uk/football-shirts.
‘We can’t promise a big payout, but we’ll do all we can to get justice for consumers.’
England and Manchester United
The football shirts potentially relevant are:
- England shirts bought between April 2000 and August 2001
- Manchester United ‘home’ shirt bought at the start of the 2000/1 season (i.e. from when the shirt was launched on 1st August 2000 until August 2001)
- Manchester United Centenary home shirt bought at the start of the 2001/2 season (i.e. from when the centenary shirt was launched on 20th July to end August 2001
- Manchester United blue ‘away’ shirt, bought between September 2000 (when it was released) until the end of the season 2000/1.
JJB Sports has two weeks to respond. After this time, Which? will consider filing the action at the Competition Appeals Tribunal.