It was announced this eek that Manchester United had agreed a ten year, £750M deal with Adidas to become the club’s official kit manufacturers. Now, this was no real surprise. Last week brought the confirmation that Nike had pulled out of the race to stay on as United’s kit maker, citing that the club’s demands were too high. This paved the way for either Adidas or Warrior to step in and fill the void. Now, as anyone who has seen any of Liverpool’s jerseys will tell you, it’s truly a blessing that Warrior didn’t get the contract.
United are no strangers to big money deals; when they renewed their deal with Nike a few years back, it was one of the biggest kit deals in history. This new deal however, absolutely knocks any previous or current deals absolutely out of the park. United, under the terms of the deal, will receive £75M a year for the next ten years. They’ll pay United more in six years than they paid the NBA to manufacturer every one of their team’s kits for eleven years. The deal is worth more than double than Arsenal’s recent deal with Puma and really, every other deal in football pales in comparison to it.
It could potentially have major ramifications on big issues within the club too. According to Andy Green (United fan and financial analyst, @andersred on Twitter), the money coming in from this and other deals (£400M deal with Chevrolet, for example) now means that the club will now be spending around 15% of its profit on interest for the Glazers’ debt, rather than 70% which it had been paying previously. This opens up new scope for spending and gives the club a bit more freedom with spending. Unlike Manchester City and PSG, the vast amounts of money coming in will mean we won’t be getting a call from the boys at FFP any time soon. The lucrative nature of the deal also means that matchday revenues are no longer as crucial to United’s coffers as they once were. They probably won’t (it’s the Glazers after all) but the club could potentially reduce ticket prices and not feel the squeeze, thanks to this new deal.
It’s also timely. The club, having missed out on Champions League qualification last season would’ve been down about £30-40M from the revenue the competition generates. The new deals now lessen the strain of missing out on European football, off the pitch at least. Of course, this is all a moot point if we remain in the European wilderness but it appears that the club knows it needs to spend. The outlay of close to £60M on Shaw and Herrera this summer will no doubt need to be doubled if the club seeks to attain all their targets.
Purely from a fan point of view, it’s also nice to see what a big draw United still are as a club. In terms of details only, the thought of a club not currently playing in Europe just announcing the biggest kit deal in football history sounds ludicrous, but it shows that United still are, without doubt, the biggest club in the world. United are currently operating in a different league to the rest of world football when it comes to the commercial side of things. Obviously, the Glazers are still here and with this deal, will probably remain for much longer, but at least this lessens the blow slightly of having the greedy morons in charge. They’re still draining the club of money, but it won’t have as much of an effect now.
As a fan, this announcement has been extremely encouraging. Things are extremely good off the pitch for the club, let’s hope that translates onto the pitch. And fingers crossed the Adidas kits are nice.