Manchester United are all set to land the biggest shirt deal in the history of sport this week – but counting the cost of their £750 million windfall will be Andy Murray, the England cricket team and the Lions rugby side, according to a report.
The Daily Mail reports that the enormous United deal means that the German sports gear manufacturer simply can’t afford to keep up, renew or expand any other commitments: “The massive price of winning the United deal from arch-rivals Nike has meant Adidas have had to re-evaluate the importance of other properties, with their funding focused on the core activities of football, fitness and running,” writes the paper’s Charles Sale.
Murray had apparently been happy to stick with Adidas, but when his previous five-year deal came up for renewal in December they refused to meet his new wage demands. The Scot was well within his rights to ask for more than his previous £10m incidentally – after signing his Adidas deal he made it to six Grand Slam finals, winning two of them. He decamped to American firm Under Armour – who are reportedly “favourites” to pick up the Lions contract from Adidas as well. Sale writes that cricket fares slightly better – but only slightly: ” The England cricket partnership has been greatly downgraded and might end early.”