Liverpool and New Balance have now been in court for three days, with Nike hoping to become the Reds’ new kit supplier from next season.
As per the Liverpool Echo, both parties want a decision to be made by Friday but nothing has been guaranteed by the high court judge.
New Balance representative Mr Oudkerk claimed today that they’re able to match Nike every bit of the way, by stating that they’re capable of selling the 2.9million units Nike aim to sell in half the amount of stores.
The judge questioned whether this suggestion was made in good faith to the club, and Oudkerk confirmed that New Balance believe they are capable of matching Nike. Mr Morpuss, representing Liverpool FC, disagreed by saying that New Balance have acted “recklessly in the extreme“.
Morpuss goes on to state that New Balance have suggested they’ve put products through 40,000 doors, and claims 36,000 of those are “wholesalers“, but they simply can’t wave their hands and get Liverpool merchandise through into these shops.
Mr Morpuss actually goes on to suggest that New Balance hadn’t met their door count in earlier years, suggesting they’ve acted in poor faith for some time now.
Mr Oudkerk suggested that LeBron James, Drake and Serena Williams’ influence, as per Nike, should have no impact on the decision-making as their ability to push products is subjective.
There was laughter in court as Morpuss questioned which tennis player would have a larger influence than Williams – and he stated that if New Balance could give an example then they could debate it, but they failed to do so.
Furthermore, Oudkerk suggested that New Balance would be able to approach celebrities and athletes to work with on campaigns, and Nike aren’t likely to have promised anyone yet because talents could sign with other brands before campaigns could begin.
Mr Ourkerk continued by saying that the only remedy to the situation is Liverpool living up to their contract, damages won’t be adequate, and the club hasn’t expressed any dissatisfaction to New Balance’s distribution before now.
Either way, to be on the safe side, Oudkerk confirmed that Liverpool and New Balance have agreed to work together for the next six months.
This is simply a highlights reel of what happened today in court. For a full – and a more in-depth – run down of the goings on in court today, have a read of this Liverpool Echo article by the well-informed Jonathan Humphries.