Manchester United kit deal: £750m Adidas agreement signals Reds can compete with Real Madrid and Manchester City

Financially there are now fewer impediments to going head-to-head with the very wealthiest clubs, including Barcelona and PSG

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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.

New Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal


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.


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.