Liverpool FC have fought off a legal challenge from New Balance over its kit deal and can now sign a deal with Nike.
A full written statement from the judge will follow, but he told the court today: “For the reasons given in the judgment handed down the claim from New Balance is dismissed.”
Liverpool are now set to press ahead with the five-year deal already agreed in principle with Nike – who have already spent close to £6million on kit design.
The club had been desperate to end its seven-year partnership with the Boston based firm and sign a new deal. New Balance, rather than walk away when the existing deal ends in May, had filed a claim in the High Court claiming it had activated a matching clause in the contract meaning Liverpool had to renew their partnership.
Liverpool, however, successfully convinced judge Mr. Justice Nigel Teare that New Balance could not “match” the terms on offer from Nike.
A spokesman for Liverpool said after the case was decided: “Liverpool FC is pleased with the Judge’s decision to rule in favour of the Club following the legal dispute with our current kit supplier, New Balance.
“We will continue with New Balance for the current season, in combination with preparing next season’s Liverpool kits with our new supplier.” It was believed that New Balance would be likely to appeal, but the judge dismissed permission.
Mr. Justice Teare said: “I am not persuaded there is a real prospect of success.”