It was a shock move really. Adidas have been Chelsea’s kit sponsor and sportswear supplier since 2006 and they were under contract with Blues until June 30, 2023. Adidas have revealed that the deal will end on June 30, 2017, putting an end to the agreement six years in advance.
This mutual agreement on early termination of the agreement will provide Chelsea sufficient time to find another sponsor to replace them.
While neither Adidas nor Chelsea have revealed the reasons behind the termination of the deal, it is understood that the Blues were becoming fed up with Adidas for giving Manchester United (the club’s direct rivals) extra attentions and benefits.
Chelsea were increasingly annoyed by the way Adidas had been concentrating on their other big clients like United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus, and on signing new players.
Last year Adidas had struck a record-breaking £750m kit sponsor deal with Manchester United. Chelsea feel United have been given an extra attention, with the Red Devils earning two-and-a-half times as much money.
The Chelsea shirt deal was worth £30m a year while United have been raking in £75m a year courtesy of their bumper deal with Adidas.
According to reports from the Daily Mail, Chelsea have agreed on a £40m severance with Adidas and want at least £50m a year from the next kit sponsor.
Nike, Adidas’s rival company, would be willing to pay that amount, but they are close to agreeing on a shirt deal with Spurs from the start of the 2017-18 season which could force Chelsea to look for other alternatives.
The Blues may look to the Asian market to secure a mega kit deal, with Japanese firm Uniqlo or Li Ning from China are other possible options.