June 20, 2024
EA FIntech Fair

Classic Football Shirts receives Investment from The Chernin Group to boost its Expansion Drive

Image taken from the Classic Football Shirts website

Classic Football Shirts, the global hub to buy authentic football shirts, and The Chernin Group (“TCG”), a multi-stage investment firm known for building and growing consumer businesses, today announced an investment from TCG that will fuel aggressive and immediate global expansion plans. Concentrating on North America, one of the brand’s fastest-growing markets that represents just 15 percent of the overall business today, TCG’s investment underscores the significant market opportunity tied to the rising global interest in football culture.

Logos taken from Classic Football Shirts and The Chernin Group websites

There are 3.5 billion global football fans in the world and fandom is up 60% in the U.S. over the last decade as major European domestic leagues are aired on U.S. TV networks, shows like Ted Lasso and Welcome to Wrexham have streamed into family rooms, fashion designers have given a nod to football style in collections, and celebrity superstars have been photographed wearing the football shirts. With the expansion of the MLS, success of NWSL and major global football events like the 2024 Copa America, 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Olympics, fandom is only expected to grow even more over the next 10 years. As the game’s domestic fan base continues to rise, so has consumer demand for football commerce and apparel.

Classic Football Shirts founder and CEO, Doug Bierton
Image taken from LinkedIn profile

“Each football shirt tells a unique story and represents the history, culture, style – and the nostalgia of the game,” said Classic Football Shirts founder and CEO, Doug Bierton. “It’s a passion and obsession for the sport, from our team and our customers, that built the business to where it is today. It’s exciting to think about how we’ll connect with millions more around the world over a shared love of football.”

Matthew Dale, Co-Founder of Classic Football Shirts
Image taken from LinkedIn profile

Founded in 2006 in Manchester, UK by Doug Bierton and Matthew Dale – and later joined by co-founder Gary Bierton, Classic Football Shirts has thrived as a self-funded, fast-growing enterprise that’s been profitable since its inception. The company boasts a staggering collection of rare vintage, match-worn, and current season styles that cater to a diverse community of football aficionados, collectors, and streetwear enthusiasts worldwide.

Gary Bierton, Co-Founder of Classic Football Shirts
Image taken from LinkedIn profile

It has a thriving community both on and offline, with stores in London and Manchester, UK, millions of social followers, and customers in over 100 countries. They have classic football shirts listed from thousands of clubs, countries and players, and over 6,700 unique or match-worn shirts housed in ‘The Vault’, a climate-controlled storage area for special pieces that are not yet available to the public.

Greg Bettinelli, TCG Partner
Image taken from TCG website

“The Classic Football Shirts team has built an incredible business,” said TCG partner, Greg Bettinelli, an early investor in popular consumer marketplaces, including GOAT and thredUP while at his previous firm, Upfront Ventures. “They have an incredible selection of football shirts for fans all over the world, unparalleled industry knowledge and a true passion for the sport. Everyone who comes to Classic Football Shirts knows they will find their favorite club, country or player and trusts that the shirt they buy will be 100% authentic, which is why so many come back again and again. We are looking forward to working with Doug, Matt, Gary and the rest of the team to build on their success through the expansion of its audience, assortment and new geographies.”

TCG invested $38.5M of growth equity capital into Classic Football Shirts and is the only major outside investor. With this investment, Classic Football Shirts will continue on its path to being the global destination for authentic football shirts and cultivate a community of fans and fashion enthusiasts through a shared love of the unique shirts.

Cormac Barry, Executive Chairman at Classic Football Shirts
Image taken from LinkedIn profile

In addition, Cormac Barry, a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in online B2C, online B2B and retail across multiple sectors including sports and travel, has joined Classic Football Shirts as Executive Chairman.

Coinciding with this announcement today is the opening of Classic Football Shirts’ latest retail experience in New York City. The store at 323 Canal Street offers enthusiasts a glimpse into football’s rich heritage through a curated collection of both classic and current shirt styles. The event precedes the forthcoming launch of permanent stores in New York and Los Angeles later this year.


To learn more on apparels and T-shirts industry, please visit these web pages:

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