Will Liverpool Be Forced to Continue With New Balance? Kit Trial Final Day - Verdict on Friday

Tuesday, 22 October 2019
The court case between Liverpool and New Balance went into its third and final day of hearings today and it's looking increasingly likely that the Premier League leaders could be forced to continue with New Balance instead of joining up with Nike.

From the quotes made in court today, Judge Teare seems to be sympathetic to the arguments by New Balance's counsel Daniel Oudkerk. Closing today's session, Teare stated that he hoped to have a verdict on Friday but could not guarantee it.

Today's topics mainly revolved around the same issues as before: whether New Balance could match Nike's offer of 6,000 'doors', i.e. stores selling Liverpool kits next season and Nike's proposal to enroll some of its non-football ambassadors such as Drake, LeBron James and Serena Williams for promotion.

Oudkerk, who represents New Balance in this case, argued that the doors were irrelevant as documents show Nike would only produce 2.9 million kits, the same number sold by New Balance last season and that this would be the only interesting metric to the club.

As for the ambassador point, Oudkerk pointed out that the contract only stated Nike would provide athletes of the caliber of those named and not them specifically. The contract submitted by New Balance to match Nike's speaks of three non-football "global superstar athletes and influencers."

On the other hand, Liverpool's main points, as argued by Guy Morpuss, are that New Balance did not offer the 6,000 doors "in good faith", i.e. knew that they could not really provide that number and that the celebrities / athletes signed by New Balance were of far lesser caliber than Nike's.

As pointed out by Judge Teare, these two points are very vague and the specifying the number of stores selling merchandise could have been a ploy by New Balance and Liverpool to ensure New Balance could not use their right to match offer.

In the end we could well see Liverpool and New Balance forced to continue, despite the fact that Nike has already completed designing work on Liverpool's 20-21 kits.

Speaking about the possibility of Liverpool losing the case, Judge Teare said that he saw "no difficulty" for Liverpool to continue with New Balance. Morpuss replied that the court would be "forcing parties together when the relational nature of the contract erodes."

Who do you think should win this case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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