Early Doors

Whoops! Who is to blame for United ‘away shirt sales gaffe’

Early Doors

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Top football clubs are incredibly protective about their official merchandise, particularly with replica shirts.

So it comes as some surprise that the new Manchester United away shirt appears to have been mistakenly unveiled in sports shops.

This is, crucially, before it has been officially presented by the club in the usual manner.

Indeed, not only has the supposed new shirt been displayed in sports shops, it has also been sold this week.

Fans were quick to highlight the situation with a mixture of confusion and glee.

It even prompted a response from the official JD Sports Twitter account:

It comes as United's new Nike-made home kit officially began to be sold in shops, which makes the situation with the away strip all the more sensitive.

Earlier this week, United agreed a record £750 million sponsorship deal with Adidas six days after Nike pulled out of negotiations over a new deal because it felt United were demanding too much money.

The Adidas agreement, described in a statement as "a global technical sponsorship and dual branded licensing deal", is to run for 10 years from the 2015-16 season.

It's the largest of its kind in world sport and dwarfs the likes of Adidas' deal with Real Madrid and Nike's with Barcelona, as well as Arsenal's agreement with Puma announced earlier this year.

The deal with Nike, United's kit manufacturer since 2002, runs out at the end of the forthcoming season.

So if anyone was underestimating the importance of official kit releases to the world's biggest clubs, they will not be any longer given the latest figures.

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