New Balance in Legal Dispute with Liverpool FC Following Nike Deal
Nike are tipped to supply Liverpool FC’s kits next season in a record deal, but it has been reported that the club’s current kit sponsor, New Balance, has taken legal action in an attempt to retain the rights.
According to The Athletic, New Balance believes Liverpool disregarded its ‘matching offer rights’ following Nike’s bid for the period after the 2019–20 season. The matching offer clause in the current contract obliges Liverpool to give NB an extension, however, Liverpool reportedly disagrees. The dispute has resulted in New Balance allegedly commencing legal action against the Champions League winners.
‘We can confirm that our kit supplier, New Balance, has commenced a legal dispute against the club. We will not be making any further comment during these legal proceedings,’ said a Liverpool spokesperson.
It has been reported that Liverpool doesn’t see New Balance’s bid as a contractually-binding matching offer ‘because they [New Balance] can’t offer the same kind of global distribution network that Nike possesses. The Anfield hierarchy favour going with Nike as they will provide them with a greater presence in key markets across the world.’