Liverpool have reached an agreement with new kit partners Nike that will allow the Reds to finish the 2019/20 season still wearing their existing New Balance strips, even though the contract is due to expire at the end of this month.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis the current campaign will now be finished – assuming all safety concerns are addressed and it can definitely resume – in July, by which time in normal circumstances the new Nike era would have been well underway.
It had previously been suggested that because of the contract dates, Liverpool might have swapped kits by the time the season restarted.
With the Reds set to be crowned Premier League champions, that would have been a real kick in the teeth for New Balance, who already lost a court battle earlier this season to keep their Liverpool contract thinking they had met the necessary requirements to trigger an extension.
The Daily Mail explains that an agreement has reached with Nike that will delay the start of the new £70m per year partnership until the start of the 2020/21 season, whenever that may be. There will, however, be ‘significant compensation’ in exchange for that compromise.
The assumption would be that Liverpool would simply be paid less than the stated £70m for the first year to make up for those first couple of months, although how much less is not clear.
The Mail notes that Liverpool always wanted to honour what was considered an ‘ethical obligation’ to New Balance in the circumstances and talks to resolve the matter began back in March.
It all means that when Liverpool are awarded the Premier League trophy, their first English league title in 30 years, it will be while wearing New Balance attire.
Despite the unprecedented circumstances brought on by the coronavirus crisis, the Premier League has already confirmed that they will still organise an official trophy presentation as long as safety concerns can be sufficiently addressed.
“If at all possible, yes, you’d like to have a trophy presentation,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said earlier this week.
“You want to give those players and the whole staff the moment they worked so hard for, if that’s what happens. We would try and do it, unless it wasn’t possible because of safety concerns.”
Source : 90min