English football club Liverpool FC is being sued by its own kit supplier, New Balance, Sky Sports has confirmed. The news arrives as the brand's current six-year, £45 million-a-season (approximately $56 million) contract draws to a close at the end of this month.
Once Liverpool FC's contract with New Balance is over, it's expected to sign a £70-million-per-season (approximately $87 million) deal with Nike, which will be the most lucrative deal in the club's history.
However, New Balance claims that its contact with Liverpool FC stipulates a "matching clause" but it has not been given the opportunity to match Nike's financial offer. New Balance is now trying to persuade the football team to continue the existing contract and has filed a dispute at the High Court.
"New Balance is proud to be the official kit sponsor of Liverpool Football Club," the brand said in a statement. "As a long-standing and committed sponsor, we are keen to continue our strong partnership with Liverpool Football Club and renew our agreement in 2020. In line with our current contract, we have matched the offer made by Nike."
The statement continues, "As part of the contract renewal process, LFC has called into question elements of the agreement and as such we are asking the courts for clarity on this case."
Updates to follow.