Row means you won't find the new Chelsea kit at Sports Direct
Sports Direct is embroiled in a spat with Adidas after the trainer-maker refused to supply the retailer with Chelsea’s new kit. Sports Direct have said that Adidas is planning to restrict supply of Chelsea’s kit for the 2014/2015 season.
Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said the move is "impossible to understand", adding: "We believe this will inevitably lead to a significant reduction in access to these kits and price inflation to consumers."
"Sports Direct will pursue various strategic options in order to protect its leading global market position within the football category."
It appears that Adidas are preferring to sell the kit through their own website and via the Chelsea club shop. That means they can control the price more closely and cut out all middle men. This invariably means consumers miss out on great offers for football shirts, which are eye-wateringly expensive as it is. If this scheme works for Chelsea, then it may well transpire that all football shirts are sold this way.
There's tittle-tattle to be had in this tale though. Sports Direct is owned by Mike Ashley who just happens to own Newcastle United too. Adidas used to make Newcastle's kit, but now they use Adidas' arch-rivals Puma (if you don't know about the excellent family feud between Puma and Adidas, click here) so the three stripe band might be making this personal.
However, Sports Direct reported a 23.5% rise in revenues to £1.35bn, with pre-tax profits up too, so Adidas might be cutting their nose off to spite their face with this move.
"We have delivered another strong performance reflecting our continued focus on providing customers with exceptional quality and unbeatable value - reinforcing our position as the consumer champion," Forsey added.