Manchester United’s biggest sponsor, adidas, displeased with declining shirt sales as they are now lagging behind Liverpool … but the German kit manufacturer was NOT behind Ed Woodward’s departure from Old Trafford
- Ed Woodward announced his intention to leave during the fallout of the Super League
- Adidas was fully informed of their developments in the European Super League
- In large part due to the fact that they own an 8.3 percent stake in Bayern Munich
- Manchester United’s lack of trophies coincided with declining shirt sales
Manchester United are under pressure from sponsors Adidas to stop declining shirt sales – but the German kit manufacturer was not supportive of chief executive Ed Woodward’s departure from the club.
Woodward announced his intention to leave two weeks ago as the fallout from the fateful European Super League intensified.
Within football circles, there are suggestions that the Germans may have been responsible for Woodward’s departure, due to his role in the ESL farce and the lack of trophies in recent seasons.
Manchester United is under pressure from sponsors adidas to stop declining shirt sales
Sources close to Adidas – United’s biggest sponsor – have suggested they were disappointed to not have been briefed by United’s leaders about their ESL plans.
However, they insist they had no part in Woodward’s announcement that he would be leaving Old Trafford in the summer after 16 years.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that Adidas has been fully briefed on ESL developments – largely due to the fact that they own an 8.3 percent stake in Bayern Munich.
Dr. Jan Heinemann serves on Bayern’s board of directors as deputy chairman as well as general advisor and chief compliance officer at adidas. The German champions declined an invitation to join the ESL.
The German kit manufacturer did not support the departure of chief executive Ed Woodward
Football insiders are aware of rumors that Woodward had been preparing to leave United in the summer for several months.
United’s lack of trophies coincided with declining shirt sales.
The club has not won a trophy for four years since winning the Europa League and League Cup doubles in 2017 – the longest period without silverware since the late 1980s.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are favorites to win the Europa League on May 26 after beating Roma 6-2 in their semi-final this week.
Club figures show that Adidas’ payments to United have fallen by £ 1.2 million since 2018
Nonetheless, official club figures show that Adidas’ payments to United have fallen by £ 1.2 million since 2018.
The deal with Adidas was worth £ 79m to United in 2018, but this dropped to £ 78.8m in 2019 and £ 77.8m last year.
United have fallen behind arch-rival Liverpool for the first time in annual shirt sales, with Jurgen Klopp’s side enjoying a rise in sales after winning recent Champions League and Premier League titles.
The two sides meet on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford.
Figures from veteran analyst Dr. Peter Rohlmann show that United’s revenue has fallen by 100,000 since 2019.
United have fallen behind arch-rival Liverpool for the first time in annual shirt sales
United sold 1.8 million shirts in 2019, but this fell to 1.7 million last year and sales are expected to remain at the same level this season, Rohlmann said.
Liverpool sales are up 450,000 over the same period.
The Anfield club sold 1.5 million shirts in 2019, with sales increasing to 1.7 million last year and 1.95 million shirts this season.
Reports have surfaced in Italy that United has been in touch with Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent about a return to Old Trafford from Juventus, a move that would significantly boost merchandise sales despite the global icon being sponsored by Nike.