May 6, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT
The Daily Mail has a report that Nike has pulled back from its massive $1 billion deal to stay kit provider for Manchester United, with Adidas set to swoop in with a record deal of its own.
The deal would earn Manchester United more than $100 million per year to rock the three stripes of Adidas, and still be a world record (even if it will fall short of Nike’s original plan).
The report also says that a deal with Adidas could allow Manchester United to have a separate money-making venture for non-jersey apparel and sportswear.
Senior insiders at the German sportswear giant believe a £60million-a-year deal has all but been agreed, even though current sponsors Nike retain the right to match any offer and extend a partnership that dates back to 2002 with United.
That, however, is thought to be unlikely when Nike are sure to question whether it is worth more than doubling their original £300m 10-year deal – which expires in June 2015 – when the deposed champions are going through this difficult period of transition.
Manchester United is a massive brand, and it’s hard to think Nike is pulling back for any on-field reason. Still, has the post-Ferguson on-field firestorm had an off-field effect on the Red Devils.
As for the above picture, look at Steve Bruce’s adorable tiny shorts and thank goodness he rejects that look as Hull City boss.
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