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Report: Nike and New Balance could 'battle in court' over Liverpool kit deal

According to The Mail, Liverpool could face a number of legal battles with sponsors regarding bonus payments and kit deals due to the season extending into the summer.

Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The report claims that there have been agreements between clubs and their kit suppliers that do not contain clauses which allow either party to extend or cancel the current contract with their supplier with a court case the most likely resolution to the issue.

Due to recent health concerns and the outbreak of Covid-19, the current pandemic has brought football to an abrupt halt with the prospect of a return date very-much in the air with the currently scheduled return date of April 30 an unlikely proposition.

Liverpool’s impending move from New Balance to a new lucrative £70m-a-year deal with Nike was set to take effect this summer. The former contract expires at the end of May, by which the Premier League season is unlikely to have been completed.

Nike’s imminent partnership with Liverpool was finalised after the Reds won an acrimonious legal battle with New Balance last October which allowed the club to make their desired switch to Nike on the basis that the latter’s gargantuan marketing budget and global pull would make for a more attractive and sustainable deal with global superstars such as LeBron James, Serena Williams and music icon Drake all cited.

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The difficulty for New Balance is the prospect of the kit supplier missing out on the value of Liverpool’s 2019/20 strip not being in use if the Reds are to mathematically secure a first league title in 30 years with the club potentially wearing Nike strips from June onwards.

 

The Mail also reported that Nike’s contract deal was signed in Amsterdam due to tax reasons which could mean a settlement between Liverpool, Nike and New Balance is the most realistic solution out of this impasse.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 05: The Nike football boots of Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City at Anfield on October 5, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

From a Liverpool perspective, the best scenario for the club is that this dispute is quickly and quietly resolved.

The Reds partnership with sportswear giants Nike is scheduled to begin in June, meaning that any fixtures played from then on out should be done in a Nike kit.

This would be a major benefit for Liverpool as they receive a much bigger cut for every shirt sold by Nike than they did from New Balance.

Lifting the league title in a new Nike strip could have an astronomical influence on shirt sales which could inject eye-watering sums of cash into the club which, of course, can then be used for transfers.

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