New Balance have taken legal action against the club in a bid to ensure their kit partnership continues, a stunning escalation of their competition with Nike.
The Times reported on Tuesday morning that the Reds were close to a striking a deal with Nike for next season and beyond.
The proposed agreement would be ‘one of the most lucrative in British football’.
However, according to The Athletic, New Balance have matched Nike’s £70-million-a-year a bid.
It’s understood that there’s a clause in their existing contract with Liverpool allowing them to extend the deal if they can offer the same amount as a rival at its expiry.
In a bid to have this ‘matching clause’ observed, they filed a case at High Court earlier in September.
“As a long-standing and committed sponsor, we are keen to continue our strong partnership with Liverpool Football Club and renew our agreement in 2020,” a statement from the Boston-based manufacturer read.
“In line with our current contract, we have matched the offer made by Nike.”
Liverpool confirmed that the lawsuit had commenced but declined to issue any further comment.
Fans will simply want the biggest deal possible, and can expect some form of resolution in the near future given that the new kits are typically unveiled in the spring.