Liverpool are on the verge of signing a bumper new kit deal with Nike which could make them the richest club in the Premier League.
The Reds’ strip is currently manufactured by New Balance but the clothing giants are in the last year of their four-year contract with the Merseyside club.
That deal was worth £45million a season for the Reds, but Nike are ready to blow that figure out the water and look likely to overtake the £75m that Manchester United receive from Adidas each season.
Liverpool are a huge pull at the moment due to their incredible 2018/19 season, which saw them win the Champions League and go toe-to-toe with Manchester City for the Premier League title – eventually missing out on the crown by a single point.
According to Forbes, the agreement with heavily rumour link-up with Nike is on the cusp of being confirmed for the 2020/21 season.
The Reds are currently eighth on their ‘Soccer Rich List’ with a current valuation of $2.183billion, sitting behind Arsenal , Chelsea , City, Bayern Munich, United, Barcelona and money bags Real Madrid .
Liverpool had a 12 per cent value increase last year, have a three per cent debt value, revenue of $613m and an operating income of $128m.
Earlier this year, leading football finance expert Kieran Maguire discussed how their stunning season could see them close the financial gap to United through a combination of factors.
“I think they can certainly narrow it,” said Maguire, speaking on a special Blood Red podcast .
“If you look at the most recent results, for 2018, Liverpool were £135m behind Manchester United , and that’s a pretty big gap to narrow, but the success that Liverpool have had this season will probably have knocked off about £40-50m off that, there will have been bonuses paid by Standard Chartered and Western Union, who are the senior partners in terms of shirt sponsorship, so that will have kicked in as well.
“But I think the areas which Liverpool very much had to address the gap between themselves and United were first of all matchday income, and by getting to the Champions League final, it means Liverpool played more matches than Manchester United at home, so therefore they would have been picking up gate receipts with increased frequency, and they would have been able to charge premium prices, especially the knockout rounds, to hospitality partners, so that would have benefitted.
“But Liverpool had already managed to reduce the gap as a result of expanding of the main stand, and they could narrow that further if they decide to go to a 60,000-capacity stadium.
“The other area, generating commercial income, is the one where Manchester United were the smartest kids on the block.
“The approach they took was to go to individual countries and say, ‘would you like to be our official supplier of mobile phones in Thailand, in Indonesia, and then in Japan’, and Liverpool have started to copy that model.
“But what Liverpool can offer partners, and what Manchester United can’t, is to be able to say, ‘by the way, do you want your photo taken with the Champions League trophy this season?’ Which is very, very attractive.
“It has also been discussed in the Echo and in other media outlets that the club’s shirt manufacturing deal is due for renewal in 12 months.
“They’ll be negotiating on that and I think Liverpool will be able to effectively reduce the gap to either a negligible amount, nothing at all, or perhaps even nip in ahead of United. United generate £75m a season from Adidas, but because Liverpool have got the history and the heritage, and the six European Cup to offer, they are in a position to be able to sell shirts around the world, in a similar way to United.
“United are a global brand and a global club and Liverpool are very much there with them these days as a result of the achievements under Jurgen Klopp and, of course, the history and heritage that came before that.”
The New Balance partnership has generally been seen as a resounding success.
Their 2017/2018 season kit was their highest selling in the club’s history at the time, but was then eclipsed by last season’s jersey, which has been a massive hit with fans.
But the current deal is only the fourth highest in the Premier League.
Behind United, come City – who signed a £65m-per-year deal with Puma earlier this year – while Chelsea are paid £60m a year to work with Nike.
North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham both have £30m-a-year deals with Puma and Nike respecively.