New kit deal will help us compete with world's best, claim Liverpool
Deal: Liverpool chiefs John Henry (left) and Tom Werner (right)
Liverpool believe their new record-breaking kit deal will give them the financial muscle to once again battle with Europe’s superpowers for the game’s best players.
The Anfield club have signed a six-year contract with American firm Warrior that will guarantee them 25million per season, as it is not performance related. It is worth double what they were being paid by adidas.
But the make-up of the deal, which begins on June 1, has given Liverpool the scope to earn up to 300million as they are now in charge of all non-branded merchandising, which adidas currently control.
Liverpool also now have the option of setting up official club merchandise stores in countries such as Norway and the Far East, where they enjoy huge support. Most significantly, it will allow them to bank all revenue they generate themselves.
Managing Director Ian Ayre is adamant Liverpool can now sit comfortably alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United as he feels it has endorsed their brand.
Ayre said: ‘In our existing deal, there have been some restrictions in terms of the other unbranded products we sell. In our new deal, we have complete control.
‘The new deal represents half of what we currently generate, so we still have another opportunity to develop similar kind of revenues – that’s what encouraged us (to sign with Warrior).
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‘This is their first foray into football. We are their only customer and they will be very focused on Liverpool and promoting the opportunity worldwide. Having a partner who has an equal ambition is a good way to go.’
Liverpool’s association with adidas dated back to 1985. The Germans manufactured all their kits until the end of 1996 when Reebok took over but had been ever present since returning in 2006.
The split between the two has been acrimonious, though. Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer accused Liverpool earlier this week of failing to deliver results and accused them of having an over-inflated sense of their own worth.
But Ayre said: ‘We shared all the numbers with everybody we spoke to. I don’t think it would surprise anyone to know Liverpool are one of the biggest merchandising businesses in football.
‘We wouldn’t have had so many people interested if we didn’t have a great business. I’m happy that we delivered absolute value for adidas.’
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish added: ‘Adidas might be a little disappointed that we have moved on but then adidas got into the club in the same way that Warrior have – through a fit and proper commercial discussion.’