We will never know if adidas would have agreed to pay such a huge sum to make Manchester United’s kits if David Moyes had been retained as manager, but this is certainly a vote of confidence in Louis van Gaal as well as the United brand.
The new deal will not kick in until the 2015-16 season, and adidas clearly expects Manchester United not only to be back in the Champions League, but also to have a strong chance of winning it.
They ought to be strong contenders. With Chevrolet’s shirt sponsorship deal already in place from August 2015, United will be earning £125m a season just from their shirts.
That figure can be doubled through Premier League TV income, and increased again through European football, ticket receipts and corporate entertainment, and the myriad country-specific marketing agreements the owners, the Glazer family, continue to sign.
The Glazers’ initial instinct, that there was money to be made from United, has been proven to be a smart judgement, though they can expect outgoings to increase sharply too as players’ agents apprise themselves of United’s income, think of a figure, then treble it. Will they meet such demands? We will see, but there is no financial reason for United not to go head-to-head with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain and, of course, Manchester City. The latter two may, in theory, have limitless petrodollar funds, but Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules are very much to United’s advantage.
Premier League 2014/15 kits: In pictures
Premier League 2014/15 kits: In pictures
1/20 Aston Villa
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street. The yellow shirt will be for away matches and the blue shirt for away cup matches
2/20 Aston Villa (Home)
A number of clubs have opted for the thin stripe design on this season's shirt, and Aston Villa appear to have followed suit.
3/20 Burnley (Home)
Burnley's claret and blue shirt, sponsored by Puma, is a decent viewing on their return to the Premier League.
4/20 Chelsea (Home)
After Chelsea's famous paint campaign last season, Oscar models the simple, horizontal stripe design for the royal blue home kit. A solid effort from Adidas, but a pricey one at £55 for a short-sleeved shirt.
5/20 Chelsea (Away)
Reminiscent of their famous 1998 shirt - and the infamous 2008 one which they played in under Luiz Felipe Scolari - Chelsea have chosen the Brazilian style design for their away shirt.
6/20 Crystal Palace (Home & Away)
Is it Barcelona or more Steaua Bucharest? Either way, Crystal Palace's new home shirt is a simple and smart piece of innovation from manufacturers Macron. Their away kit, however, looks suspiciously like Napoli's - whose kit is also made by Macron - away shirt from 2013/14.
7/20 Everton (Home)
Everton players James McCarthy, Tim Howard and Leighton Baines model the 2014/15 shirt, which marks the comeback of Umbro into the Premier League.
8/20 Leicester City (Home)
Leicester City's return to the Premier League has been marked with this rather smart effort by Puma. Carrying a similar template to Italy's shirts can never go wrong.
Leicester City Football Club
9/20 Liverpool (Home)
Warrior's latest crack at the Liverpool home shirt is an impressive one indeed, marking a return to the red and white colourway as opposed to red and gold in 2013/14.
10/20 Liverpool (Away)
Their attempt at designing a decent away shirt, however, continues to falter with this ultra-bright yellow and red mix.
11/20 Liverpool (Third Kit)
Liverpool's questionable choice for a sache and hoop combo has come under-fire from fans.
12/20 Manchester City (home)
The Premier League champions have unveiled their updated Nike shirt, with a black v-neck collar replacing the previous blue and white trim on the crew neck.
Manchester City FC
13/20 Manchester United (Home)
Featuring new sponsors Chevrolet, the large logo has attracted a mixed response from Red Devils fans.
14/20 Manchester United (Away)
Wayne Rooney in the new Manchester United away kit
15/20 Newcastle United (Away)
A silky silver shirt replaces the plain black version from 2013/14, and seems to suit the rather bright Wonga sponsor a lot better.
16/20 QPR (Home, Away & Third Kit)
Perhaps one of the best looking shirts so far, QPR's horizontal hoop home shirt is a joy to behold. The decision to have an all-white away shirt is quite baffling, however, given that white is also included in the home, and the third kit is somewhat Sunday League-ish.
17/20 Southampton (Home)
Southampton's home kit for 2014/15
18/20 Stoke City (Home & Away)
Stoke kits for 2014/15
19/20 Swansea City (Home & Away)
Swansea City 2014/15 kits
20/20 West Ham (Home & Away)
West Ham kits for 2014/15
The deal is a fillip for the English game, if not necessarily the national team, after a season that was disappointing in Europe as well at the World Cup. It underlines the strength of the Premier League product, albeit most other teams cannot command anything like these sums. However, the pity is it is highly unlikely much of this cash will be re-invested into the game, indeed, a lot of it may not even be re-invested into United.
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