After rumours yesterday, followed by a reported denial today, Nike have this evening confirmed that they will not be renewing the 15 year kit deal with Manchester United when it expires next year.
Some might consider this to be a strange move, considering no football club in the world sells more shirts than United. Going back over the past decade, United have competed with Adidas’ Real Madrid every season, blowing all other clubs out of the water.
United sell, on average, 1.4 million shirts per year and the same figure is reported for Real Madrid. The next biggest seller is Nike’s Barcelona shirt with 1.15 million sales, followed by Adidas’ Chelsea shirt with 910,000. Next Bayern Munich (Adidas – 880,000), then Liverpool, (Adidas – 810,000,) then Arsenal (Nike – 800,000).
Nike are no longer making Arsenal’s shirts though, with Puma taking over that responsibility from the 2014-2015 season, meaning after Barcelona, Nike’s biggest sellers are Juventus with an average of 480,000 sales.
We’ll all be hoping it’s Adidas and not Warrior who are making our shirts from next year onwards, given how awful the Liverpool strips have been. But money talks, so who ends what we’ll end up with.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.