Liverpool win High Court battle to confirm Nike as new kit supplier

Liverpool win High Court battle to confirm Nike as new kit supplier
English soccer giants Liverpool have won their legal battle with current kit supplier New Balance and are now free to sign a new deal with the US sportswear giant Nike.

It brings to an end the ongoing saga surrounding who would provide the Premier League side’s kit from the 2020/21 season, which has been rumbling on since the start of the year. 

Liverpool had made clear their intentions to switch to Nike once their partnership with New Balance, which dates back to 2015, expired and had held extensive talks with the brand.

But instead of walking away, New Balance took the club to court, claiming a contract clause meant it could match Nike’s terms.

However, Liverpool argued that Nike could deliver far greater total revenue than New Balance could, reflected by Nike reportedly agreeing to pay the Reds a 20 per cent royalty on net sales of Liverpool products.

Though Nike reportedly agreed to pay the club UK£30 million (US$36 million) per year, compared to the UK£45 million (US$58 million) New Balance currently stumps up,  it would also promote the team through other high-profile athletes and distribute the new kit through an estimated 6,000 global stores, compared to New Balance’s 3,000.

Liverpool have now been successful in convincing the High Court that New Balance could not match the terms on offer from Nike.

A full written statement from the judge, Nigel Teare, will follow but he told the court today: ‘For the reasons given in the judgement handed down the claim from New Balance is dismissed.’

Liverpool will now press ahead with the five-year deal agreed in principle with Nike, who have apparently already spent nearly UK£6 million (US$7.7 million) on kit design.

It is not yet clear if New Balance will appeal the decision.

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