May 12 – Having ensured a miserable season on the pitch by their own standards, Chelsea are to end their shirt sponsorship deal with German sportswear giants Adidas six years earlier than scheduled.
Reports said the club had initiated talks to end the deal next year and that they will pay some £40 million in compensation in order to search for a new commercial partner.
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm we have mutually agreed with Adidas to end our longstanding partnership at the end of the 2016/17 season,” read a statement on the club’s website.
“Having begun our relationship in 2006, we would like to thank adidas for their fantastic support and cooperation over the past 10 years.
“In that time the club has lifted the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups, and we look forward to a successful final year of partnership.”
A statement released by adidas at the same time read: “Chelsea Football Club and adidas AG announced today that they have mutually agreed to terminate their existing partnership agreement prematurely.
“The agreement will now end on June 30, 2017 and not, as originally agreed, on June 30, 2023.”
When it was announced in 2013, the deal was reported to have been worth £300 million, the biggest in Premier League history at the time. But Adidas broke its own record the following year, when it agreed to pay £750 million over 10 years to replace Nike as sponsor of Manchester United, with certain conditions regarding Champions League qualification. It also sponsors Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Reports suggest Chelsea believe they can get more than the £30 million a year they have been receiving from Adidas and that the current arrangement does not reflect their market value despite the fact they will not play in either European club competition next season under new boss Antonio Conte.
But an Adidas spokesperson told Sky that the decision was “in line with our strategic business plan where we will sponsor fewer teams in the coming years”.
Reportedly Nike are an option to replace adidas but Japanese firm Uniqlo or Li Ning from China may also be interested.
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