Chelsea have confirmed a lucrative kit contract with Nike that stands to see the American sportswear manufacturer pay the Premier League club close to £1bn.
The 15-year, £900m deal is due to start next season, when Nike will replace Adidas as the provider of kit for all of the Blues’ squads, from the academy through to the ladies and first team.
Chelsea’s new £60m-per-season agreement is worth double their current arrangement and justifies the club’s decision to dissolve the Adidas deal just four years into a 10-year contract.
That decision, which surprised industry observers when it was announced in May, is thought to have cost Stamford Bridge chiefs around £40m in termination fees.
“This is an incredibly exciting and important deal for the club,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.
“Like Chelsea, Nike is known around the world for its excellence and innovation and we look forward to working together in what is sure to be a successful partnership.
“We believe Nike will be able to support our growth into new markets as well as helping us maintain our place among the world’s elite football clubs.”
Nike Brand president Trevor Edwards called the Blues “a world-class club with a rich tradition and passionate fans across the globe”.
He added: “The partnership with Chelsea reinforces our leadership position in football. We are excited to help grow the club’s global reach, serving players and supporters with Nike innovation and design.”
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The deal, while outstripping most of their Premier League rivals, is still short of Manchester United’s 10-year contract with Adidas, which began in 2014 and is worth at least £75m per season.
It is also significantly less valuable the German sportswear giant’s agreement with Real Madrid, which was signed this year and is worth €140m (£126m) to the club annually, and Nike’s world record €155m-per-year (£140m) deal with Barcelona.
Chelsea’s Nike contract is twice as valuable as Arsenal’s £30m-per-year arrangement with Puma, which started in 2014 and runs until 2019.
Liverpool’s £25m-a-season deal with New Balance is believed to be the fourth highest in the English top division.
The kit deal is a welcome financial boost to Chelsea, after the club announced a loss of £23.1m in November for the 2015 financial year.
The Blues’ financial power was further weakened by the team’s failure to qualify for this season’s Champions League, although a package of bumper new television rights deals has boosted all Premier League clubs and increased guaranteed central payments from £60m to a minimum of £100m.