Premier League - Adidas end Liverpool ties over 'poor results'
Thu, 19 Jan 10:50:00 2012
Adidas have claimed they walked away from negotiations to renew their deal as Liverpool's kit suppliers because the team's performances were not good enough.
Adidas have supplied Liverpool's kit since 2006, but their chief executive Herbert Hainer said that the club had now overvalued their sponsorship worth given their poor results on the pitch.
"The gap between their performance on the field and what the number should be is not in balance," Hainer said.
"Then we said: 'OK we will not do it'. That's the end of the story. It all depends on the success and the effort and the popularity, the exposure on TV, revenue you can generate by merchandising.
"This all has to be brought in line between what you offer and what you get. We thought that what Liverpool were asking and what they were delivering was not in the right balance."
Liverpool instead went and signed a six-year agreement thought to be worth £150 million with little-known US company Warrior Sports.
The deal is Warrior's first foray into football and strengthens Liverpool's transatlantic ties after John W. Henry's Fenway Sports Group bought the club in 2010.
"This is another landmark deal for Liverpool Football Club and once again shows the value of the club's brand globally," said Ian Ayre, the club's managing director.
Warrior will supply home, away and third kits as well as training wear. Liverpool are famous for their red shirts.
Warrior were founded in 1992 by former champion lacrosse player David Morrow and have focused on supplying ice hockey and lacrosse footwear and kit. The company is owned by Boston-based New Balance, best known for its sports shoes.
"We are here to shake up the world of football and our partnership with one of the most successful club teams of all time is just the start," said Richard Wright, general manager for Warrior Sports.
Liverpool have won the league title 18 times and the European Cup five times and have a large global fan base.
However, they have not won the English league for more than two decades and have recently been eclipsed by north-west rivals Manchester United, who also have American owners in the shape of the Glazer family.
Eurosport / Reuters