Rooney overtakes Torres and Gerrard in shirt sales as United put Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the shade

By Sportingintelligence

21 July 2011

Wayne Rooney’s name was requested on more replica football shirts around the world in the 2010-11 season than that of any other player in the Premier League, according to official data just released.

The 25-year-old Manchester United striker hit the No1 spot for the first time in his career by leap-frogging the previous best seller, Fernando Torres, who drops to No2.

Sales of ‘Torres’ shirts for Liverpool and Chelsea combined in 2010-11 were lower than for Rooney alone.

Rooney’s success is all the more remarkable given that he announced he wanted to leave United in October – an act that might reasonably have been greeted by a drop in supporter loyalty. But that wasn’t the case. It seems Rooney’s sales were given a boost after agreeing to stay with the club.

Rooney is the first United player to top the sales charts since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007-08.

The full top 10 for 2010-11 are in the graphic below, as are the top three sellers for the previous three seasons.

The top 10 is published in the Premier League Season Review 2010-11, and is based on worldwide sales of official names and numbers, compiled by Sporting iD, which since 1993 has developed the technology behind the official players’ and replica products of the Barclays Premier League.

Total sales figures are never provided but it is understood that Rooney shirts sold a total of several hundred thousand to hit the No1 spot.

As this website reported exclusively in August last year (in reports linked here, and linked here), Manchester United have sold more official replica shirts worldwide in recent years than any other English Premier League club.

Typically United have sold between 1.2m and 1.5m shirts per year since 2005, with Liverpool next (900,000-plus in recent times, it is understood), followed by Arsenal and Chelsea.

The biggest few stars at each club typically account for a majority of the total sales between them – of those shirts sold with names.

The ‘big four’ clubs dominate the top 10 individual names in the data just released.

Rooney at No1 is joined in the top 10 by club-mate Javier Hernandez, whose Chicharita name is a new entry at No4, and by Ryan Giggs, at No10. (The Mexican forward’s fourth place debut is the highest new entry in the top 10 chart to date. Giggs appears in the top 10 for the first time).

Torres quite probably owes his No2 position to his time at Liverpool rather than Chelsea – because Liverpool simply sell more shirts, evidenced by Stevie Gerrard at No3 and Luis Suarez at No8.

Chelsea also have Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba at No7 and No8 (the same positions as last year).

Arsenal are represented by Robin Van Persie (a re-entry into the top 10 at No5) and Andrei Arshavin (at No9, down four places from last year).

Dropping out of the top 10 this time were Cesc Fabregas, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Carlos Tevez.

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