Chelsea will pay Adidas an undisclosed sum to terminate their £300 million kit sponsorship deal six years early and take up a new deal with a rival sportswear giant, writes Matt McGeehan.
The deposed Premier League champions and the German sportswear manufacturer announced on Wednesday that the decision to end their partnership in June 2017, after an 11th year, was mutual.
Chelsea announced a 10-year deal worth £30 million annually in June 2013, trumpeted as “the biggest deal to date”. But Manchester United subsequently signed a £75 million-per-year deal and Real Madrid agreed a £1billion, 10-year deal – both with Adidas – dwarfing the sum received by Chelsea.
The sportswear company says the club have a new kit deal lined up with one of its competitors.
A statement from Adidas read: “Chelsea Football Club and Adidas AG announced today that they have mutually agreed to terminate their existing partnership agreement prematurely.
“As compensation for the early termination of the contract, the adidas group will receive a payment from Chelsea Football Club in 2017 that will already positively impact the group’s net income this year.”
The relationship began in 2006 and Chelsea have since lifted the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups. But the club can finish ninth at best – and as low as 13th – this season, in a miserable defence of the Premier League title they won 12 months ago.
Chelsea pay to end £300m Adidas kit deal early
Eden Hazard (left) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek model next season’s kit CREDIT: CHELSEA FC
Chelsea face Leicester, their successors as champions, in the final game of the season on Sunday.
Adidas will continue to sponsor Chelsea for the 2016-17 season and last week revealed its new strip for the club.
Adidas says it is streamlining its sponsorship activities and there was no suggestion the decision was related to Chelsea’s on-field performances this season.
Chelsea managing director Christian Purslow will be largely responsible for finding a new kit deal for the club.
Purslow negotiated a five-year, £40 million-per-season shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama, the Japanese tyre manufacturer, which started this season. And he will be expected to achieve a deal of significantly greater value than Chelsea’s current one with Adidas.