Nike vs New Balance Liverpool Kit Court Battle Has Begun - Nike Already Spent $6 Million On Next Season's Liverpool Kits

Saturday, 19 October 2019
Some weeks ago, we reported that New Balance has taken Nike to court over the possible new Nike kit deal with Premier League giants Liverpool. Now on Friday the clash between corporate giants has begun at the High Court in London - and New Balance is desperately try to cling on to their kit deal with Liverpool.

Nike vs New Balance - Who Will Win The Liverpool Kit Court Battle This Month? ALL Details + Our Prediction

Nike vs New Balance Liverpool High Court London Kit Battle

New Balance believes the club disregarded its 'matching offer rights' following a bid from sporting goods rival Nike for the period from the 2020-2021 season.

New Balance is challenging the club’s decision not to renew its £45m per year kit deal. New Balance. In the last two seasons Liverpool FC had the two highest-selling jerseys in club history.

The court battle between Nike and New Balance is all about which brand does offer Liverpool FC the better deal - this does not only include the pure money a company is paying to the club but also the other parts of the agreement such as how many stores a brand has worldwide and which products a brand can offer.

In fact, there even were laughter in court after a replica Liverpool FC kit was hold up. Guy Morpuss QC, representing the Reds, displayed the club’s “iconic” home shirt as he discussed distribution around the world.

Mr Justice Teare, presiding over the case, asked if the kit changes every season. Mr Morpuss replied: "It does but it stays red, my Lord”. And he added that "it won’t have New Balance on”, to chuckles in court.

Nike and Liverpool FC believe that their new deal would “super-charge” distribution of Reds products around the world.

Daniel Oudkerk QC, for New Balance, was the first to outline his side's position. Mr Oudkerk said the company had the right to match any offer from a third party.

He said: “The club had an offer in June 2019. The club initially refused to disclose the terms of the offer to New Balance. It’s perfectly clear New Balance were entitled to see the terms of the offer...and the parties were happy to continue the terms of their relationship.”

Mr Oudkerk says New Balance insisted on seeing the offer, and then agreed to match the “Material, Measurable, and Matchable” terms apparently on the table from Nike. He moved on to discuss "the way the club deals with distribution and good faith" and said the question is "whether New Balance can match" the other offer.

Mr Oudkerk said any damages paid by Liverpool would not remedy the potential loss of the contract for New Balance. He also argued that New Balance had delivered record-breaking sales of Liverpool kits and sought to dismiss the idea distribution terms offered by Nike could not be met by New Balance.

Mr Oudkerk said that New Balance's promise to match Nike's apparent '6,000 doors' [shops where LFC items are sold] over the next five years is genuine, and now for the first time distribution will be written into the contract.

Mr Morpuss, representing Liverpool, then addressed court to outline the club's position.

He said: "This action is really an attempt by New Balance to use a matching clause for a purpose for which it was never intended. My friend trots out the figure of 40,000 stores. It is utterly fanciful to say that New Balance could get things into anywhere close to 40,000 stores.”

Mr Morpuss also told the court: "[New Balance] have a record of telling Liverpool things that were wrong. They gave figures of the number of doors that were grossly overstated."

In the court battle is also emerged that "Nike has already spent nearly $6m on next season’s kit."

The case opened on Friday and is listed for two further days on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Image via Phil Delves

Nike Liverpool 20-21 Home, Away & Third Kits Info Leaked

Who do you think will win the battle? Do you think that Nike will make Liverpool's kits in the 2020-2021 season? Let us know in the comments below.
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