Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer has added his voice to the chorus of criticism of Manchester United’s lacklustre attacking performances this season.
United have been urged to adopt a more adventurous approach by an Old Trafford faithful that has witnessed just 15 goals this term – fewer than at any other ground in the top four divisions.
Adidas agreed to pay United £750m in a world record 10-year kit deal that started this season and, while content with the return on investment, Hainer believes the team’s displays have disappointed.
“Business with Manchester United is going very well,” he said. “We sell more jerseys than expected; the foreign share is 60 per cent. We are satisfied, even if the actual way of playing of United is not exactly that what we want to see.”
United’s tepid form and their group stage elimination from the Champions League has seen manager Louis van Gaal come under intense pressure during his second season.
Saturday’s 2-1 win over Swansea dampened speculation surrounding the Dutchman’s future, though they are fifth in the Premier League, nine points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
The German sportswear giant’s £75m-per-year kit deal with the club, struck in 2014, is believed to be more than twice as lucrative as the next biggest, between Adidas and Real Madrid.