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Nike pull out of Manchester United kit deal

This season's Nike kit will be the club's last for the foreseeable future, as the manufacturer announces that it is pulling out of the bidding process.

Richard Heathcote

Exciting polyester-clothing update! Nike, whose latest creation for Manchester United was revealed just the other day, will not be signing a new deal with Manchester United. Following a couple of days of rumours, the US clothing giant confirmed that they will not be working with the club as of 2015/16:

Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial & the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike's shareholders.

Though naturally:

We are proud to have partnered with them for the last 12 years & will continue to sponsor the club until the end of the season.

The general consensus among journalists is that Nike have been priced out of the bidding, with some suggesting that any new deal may amount to £750m over ten years, a quite ludicrous sum of money. Who that might be with isn't yet clear, but several journalists have identified Adidas as the new front-runners, a move that appeals on two levels. First, they were responsible for 1990-92's wonderful pale-blue maple leaf number. Secondly, they're not the other rumoured interested party, Warrior. Who have been responsible for dressing Liverpool for the last couple of seasons, and whose away kit resemble nothing so much as a migraine.

Anybody going to miss Nike a huge amount? For the Busby Babe's money, they turned out a few acceptable change kits — the second and third shirts from 2003-05 in particular, respectively black and white with thin stripes — but never really came up with anything memorable for the home shirts. Memorable in a good way, anyway; the lingering residue of that tartan number isn't going anywhere fast.