15 December 2017
Singapore: Mugabe seen leaving hospital
ED to use congress to consolidate power
I have a list of looters, warns president
2018: Zanu PF says to rehabilitate G40’s
Mnangagwa: sanctions crippling Zimbabwe
Cop WhatsApps rogue soldiers memo, seized
Soldiers pour water on voter machine
SB Moyo to diplomats: let's respect each other
Gen Moyo to facilitate diaspora investments
Health levy fund now at $18m, minister
Zimbabwe totes obsessed with Zodwa
Mogul Russell Simmons accused of rape
Eto, Mboma tribute to Cameroon legend
Wenger refuses to blame Alexis Sanchez
Coup: why the China role theory is hollow
Zims duped! It’s about Zanu PF for ever
Nelson Chamisa on Washington trip
Interview: Gonda Hot Seat with Coltart
Adidas and Man United are not Messi-ing about

Headed for Old Trafford ... Barcelona star Lionel Messi

26/01/2015 00:00:00
by Agencies

COULD German sportswear giant adidas have a hand in helping Manchester United net Argentine football great Lionel Messi?

A report in Spanish publication Fichajes has triggered speculation that by pooling resources the two could meet the buyout clause on Messi's contract with Barcelona.

Due to expire in 2019, Messi's contract requires potential suitors to pony up $300-million if they intend to tear the diminutive 27-year-old from the Spanish club.

Adidas recently signed on as kit sponsor for the English club from next season for $1,13 billion in total -  $113 million a year for the next 10 years - which could hypothetically provide manager Louis van Gaal with the funds he'd need for Messi.

The deal is considered to be the most lucrative sponsorship arrangement ever signed by a football club.

Van Gaal has already spent some $249 million on new players, but there is no club in the world which, given the war chest, would pass up the multiple Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi has been on Barcelona's books for 14 years but is understood to have fallen out with management. He made cryptic comments about an uncertain future at this year's Ballon d'Or ceremony where he was runner-up.

The UK's existing transfer record was set at $87 million when United bought Argentine Ángel di Maria last year. A $300 million move for Messi would obliterate that.

Mike Makaab, the CEO of sports agency Prosport International, said to his knowledge a sponsor had never been involved in the signing of a player in such a way.

But sponsorships contributed to war chests and symbiotic relationships made obvious sense with respect to high-profile, expensive players, he said.

United shirts sporting the Messi name would provide an enormous windfall for adidas.

But a sponsor-club arrangement could throw up questions relating to Fifa's financial regulations.

"They are against third-party involvement in the purchase of players, particularly if adidas were to have a say in which club a player moves to. It may also not be in line with Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules," Makaab said.

Given that Manchester United are not playing in the UEFA Champions League this season, the British press are claiming this would be the loophole the club needs to see such a deal through.


This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times

Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it






Face Book



comments powered by Disqus
RSS NewsTicker