Henry De Oeuvre, Chief of Greater Manchester Metropolitan police has issued a stark warning to England football fans.
"We have noticed a large number of counterfeit England shirts hitting the market stalls around Manchester," said De Oeuvre. "Having communicated with my opposite number down in London we realise that this is a nationwide problem, with these fake England shirts flooding the market. We want to warn consumers that they should take every precaution when buying England shirts to ensure that they are genuine."
According to De Oeuvre, there are a number of tell-tale signs that the shirts are not genuine.
"For a start," said De Oeuvre, "the red of the away shirt is too dark, almost maroon. Additionally, the number nine shirt does not have Rooney's name on the back," he said. "It says Sanchez. Which, at the risk of sounding racist, is obviously not an English name. A crucial difference is that the fakes, unlike the genuine article, have a sponsors logo. Even if it is UNICEF, a world wide charity, it's against FIFA regulations to sponsor national kit making this a sure give away."
There are further indications as to the authenticity of the shirts that may escape the casual observer.
"The badge on the shirt, kissed by so many insincere players over the years, is not shield shaped, it is a diamond. And there are no three lions, instead it is quartered with the England cross in the top left and bottom right, and some stripes in the other quarters. It is a subtle difference, but once people are made aware of it, they can spot the difference easily."
Police will be instigating a series of surprise dawn raids tomorrow.
"We'll be holding our dawn raids at lunch time," said De Oeuvre. "That should be a surprise to the criminal element. And it will allow our officers to finish their cooked breakfast first."