Jan 29, 2014

    Arsenal sign $63m-a-year kit deal with Puma


    ARSENAL have announced the most lucrative kit deal in their history, in a tie-up with Puma reportedly worth more than £30 million (S$63 million) a year to the English Premier League leaders.

    The multi-year agreement, which will see the German sports manufacturer take over from Nike as Arsenal's official kit supplier from July, was described on Monday as "the biggest deal in Puma and Arsenal's history".

    The Gunners are understood to receive around £30 million a year from main sponsor Emirates Airlines, and, while no financial detail was given, reports have indicated the new deal will be for a similar amount when Puma replaces United States-based rival Nike, which has been the London club's kit provider since 1994.

    The shirt deal with Nike was worth £8 million a year.

    The new pact is worth £150 million over five years, with an additional £4 million annually in "possible add-ons", according to London's Daily Telegraph. That tops Manchester United's £25 million annual deal with Nike and Liverpool's contract with Warrior Sports for a similar amount.

    "This is a very important step in terms of our progression on the pitch," Mr Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal's chief executive officer, said at a news conference.

    "The money will be available to the manager to use in the way that he thinks best."

    Arsenal haven't won a trophy since 2005, although they are considered serious contenders for the EPL title this term.

    They have spent the better part of the last decade trying to match United, Chelsea and Manchester City, clubs that have been rewarded with on-field success as they have spent more on players.

    In September, the north Londoners broke their own transfer record with the reported £42.4 million signing of midfielder Mesut Oezil from Real Madrid.

    Arsenal had £280 million in revenue in the 12 months ended May 31, making them eighth on Deloitte's list of the richest football clubs.

    Deloitte said the team earned £62 million in commercial income last season. That figure, which excluded broadcast income, put them behind 11 other clubs.

    Mr Gazidis also revealed that Arsenal expect Arsene Wenger, who has been with the Gunners since 1996, to sign a new contract to stay with the club.