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Chelsea no longer Nike’s biggest deal in the Premier League

Liverpool ink record deal with the world’s biggest sportswear company

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Chelsea FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus

In the ever-escalating financial warfare of modern day football and especially in the Premier League, Chelsea have some catching up to do once again. Yesterday, Liverpool officially announced the new kit deal they signed with Nike, which will net the champions-elect a cool £80m per year for an unannounced length of time.

Or at least that’s what it’s expected to net them.

Liverpool are reportedly set to earn not only a Premier League-record amount — bettering Manchester United’s £75m per year deal with adidas, Manchester City’s £65m per year deal with Puma, and Chelsea’s £60m per year deal with Nike — they are set to break new ground (afaik) in how these partnerships are structured.

Financial terms were not announced by either side, nor was the length of the deal. Some reports have the yearly base rate as low as a rather paltry $40m (£30m), which would actually put it below Liverpool’s old deal with New Balance. But unlike most (if not all) other kit deals, Liverpool are apparently also getting a significant cut of Nike’s revenue from shirt sales — perhaps as much as 20 per cent (plus add-ons for other branded gear), which just about doubles the usual rate. Yes, we’re getting closer to shirt sales actually paying for a player’s transfer fee!

Chelsea’s three-year-old deal with Nike sees the club earn £60m annually, which is now only good for fifth place in the league and seventh overall in world football. While our contract with the sportswear giants is for 15 years, these things tend to get renegotiated every 3-4 years anyway. (For example, Chelsea signed with adidas in 2006 for £20m/year, renegotiated to £30m/year and a new 10-year deal in 2010, broke that contract in 2016, paying off adidas to start the new Nike partnership the following summer.)

If and when it comes time to do that, it will have helped if we’re in good competitive position of course — just as it has done now for Liverpool, who had to make do with Warrior and then Warrior’s parent company, New Balance when adidas passed on them in 2012.

So, let’s get to it.

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