Liverpool has been sporting adidas kits for years, but beginning next season the Reds won't be wearing the three stripes anymore and it is not because the club chose to move on. No, adidas decided that the Reds were asking for far too much for a club that doesn't win enough and they weren't shy about it either. The company's CEO Herbert Hainer just came out and said it.
"The gap between their performance on the field and what the number should be is not in balance," Hainer said in an interview in Munich. "Then we said, ‘Okay we will not do it. That’s the end of the story.’"
With adidas out of the picture, Liverpool went to Warrior Sports, a subsidiary of New Balance, and got $38.3 million over six years. It will be Warrior's first major soccer deal so who knows what their product will look like, but it doubles Liverpool's current deal with adidas and double the money is always good.
Warrior was obviously going to have to pay a premium to get its foot in the door and it did. It's a great bit of business by Liverpool and along with several other lucrative sponsorship deals, it is not as if the Liverpool brand is dead and buried. It's doing quite well, but a company the stature of adidas passing and publicly questioning the value of a club that is not winning trophies is not something to overlook.
adidas just shrugged off the Reds as not nearly as good as they think they are. That sounds just like the way opposing teams have treated them in recent years. So how much longer can Liverpool go picking up the same results then pointing at the trophy case when it is time to handle the money matters?