In the past couple of days, the international media has been carrying the news that Liverpool Football Club has struck a record breaking deal with US-based kit suppliers Warrior Sports. The deal, said to be worth in the region of Stg 25 million a year, would even surpass Man Utd’s Stg 23.5 million a year deal with Nike!
The unconfirmed story, which would effectively bring twice the cash Adidas have been paying, also poses a couple of issues that may leave some fans perplexed. There is also concern that with Warriors Sports having experience restricted to hockey and lacrosse teams, even though they apparently purchased a company called Brine Sporting Goods in 2007, which company is quite involved in the US soccer world. The relatively unknown brand this side of the pond, has a global turnover exceeding US$ 1 billion therefore a deal of this nature is more than sustainable. The fear of the fans is that Warrior Sports might not be able to match the much liked and admired Adidas kits but if this deal is well and truly in the making, then perhaps Warrior will rise to the occasion and produce a kit that is worthy of the tradition and world-wide exposure of Liverpool Football Club. The deal would come into effect in the 2012/13 season.
It is estimated that the Reds sell as much as 900,000 replica shirts annually, and are surpassed in this classification only by Real, Barca and Man Utd (with regards to the Adidas brand, the Reds are second only to Real). Given that these three are considered to be arguably the world’s top three clubs on the rich-list, this is an amazing achievement by the Club, especially when one takes into account that we have not been so successful in recent years.
With the new UEFA rules coming into play and FSG’s philosophy to stabilize the Club’s finances and then to let it run on its own steam, an extra Stg 12 million a year could prove to be an important income on the balance sheet, especially since it has been rumoured that TV-rights related funds could be reduced in the coming years.
Should the deal be confirmed by FSG and LFC, it will contribute to strengthen the belief that John Henry and Co are taking our beloved Club to a higher level. The foundations are being laid for a new era, and I somehow feel that there is more in store for us in the coming months. Perhaps our fellow Red fans in the US can give us some more insight into this story.