Consumer watchdogs on Tuesday said they have evidence to suggest 10 sports firms, including major retail chains JJB Sports and Blacks Leisure Group, have been fixing the price of replica soccer shirts.

The news means the accused could face combined fines of up to £300 million as a breach of UK competition laws carries a financial penalty of up to 10 per cent of a firm's turnover.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced in May it was investigating 11 UK firms over claims they broke competition law by fixing the price of replica soccer kits made by Umbro.

The original probe was launched in 2001 amid claims the price of replica kits was fixed. Full kits often cost up to £70 and with teams often changing their strips every couple of years, consumer groups have often complained their prices are too high.

The OFT today said it has dropped Debenhams from its investigation and has now presented its evidence to the others: Umbro Holdings, JJB Sports, John David Sports, Sports Soccer, Allsports, Blacks Leisure Group, Manchester United FC, Florence Clothiers (Scotland) (trading as Sportsconnection), Sportsetail and The Football Association.

It added the parties now have a chance to answer the allegations before it makes a final decision.