Adidas loving Manchester United sales, but not its on-field game

Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Image

Speaking frankly about one of its biggest products, Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer gave a thumbs-down to the playing style on Manchester United.

While that mirrors what many in the United community think about the team under Louis Van Gaal, Hainer was mostly positive on the mega money arrangement his brand has with the Red Devils.

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Though Wayne Rooney’s Saturday goal showed classic United flash, the club has seen a lot of zeroes since its time with Adidas. The numbers on the sales reports are good zeroes. The ones on the scoreboard? Not as attractive.

From Suddeutsche Zeitung, through the BBC:

Their record-breaking deal with Adidas is worth £750m over 10 years.

Hainer said: “We sell more jerseys than expected, the foreign share is 60%. We are satisfied, even if the actual way of playing of United is not exactly what we want to see.”

Corporate sponsors speak loudly, especially ones that paint the balance books way into the black. It’s funny and obvious to think that fan discontent could play a lesser role in LVG’s job status than a few jabs from a major partner.

Then again, look at how FIFA finally got real (or some semblance of real).