€300k-a-week: What Jose Mourinho will earn at Manchester United...after he finalises his image rights
Manchester United have finalised the contract that will see Jose Mourinho become their third manager in as many years, despite the process being held up by complications around the Portuguese's personal car, watch and casino endorsement deals.
Louis van Gaal was sacked as United manager on Sunday night, with the news formally announced 24 hours later, but potential conflicts of interest between Mourinho's own sponsorship agreements and the club's commercial partnerships prolonged negotiations as lawyers wrestled over the legal complexities.
But it is thought those issues over a number of Mourinho's image rights were resolved during further discussions yesterday and United - who have been relaxed about the situation - are expected to announce the former Chelsea manager's appointment today or tomorrow once a few minor details have been resolved.
Mourinho signed endorsement contracts in 2014 with luxury car manufacturer Jaguar, Swiss watch maker Hublot, and Paradise Co, a South Korean casino operator.
Yet that presented a potential headache since United have their own tie-in with US car giant Chevrolet, who have a seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with the club worth 470m Euro, a partnership with a rival watch company, Bulova, and a commercial contract with Donaco International, a casino resort firm who operate in South Korea and other Asian countries.
There was never any suggestion that the issues posed a threat to a deal being finalised but it was necessary to come to an agreement that suited all parties - Mourinho, United and the respective sponsors - and that led to a slowing of negotiations.
Mourinho in London this week
The European Union Intellectual Property Office database also showed that Chelsea still owned the trademark to Mourinho's name, an application that was registered in April 2006 and was listed as running until March 2025. They also registered for the trademark to his signature in July 2009. However, sources close to the negotiations between Mourinho and United confirmed that Chelsea no longer owned the trademark.
Furthermore, it is understood that Mourinho has retained all of his image rights following the legal discussions, although his contract with United will limit the number of personal endorsements he is allowed to sign while he is the club's manager.
That is unlikely to concern the 53-year-old too much. Despite managing Real Madrid for three years, Mourinho's marketing power may be greater than ever at United, whose commercial department will view his superstar status as a considerable boon as far as selling their products is concerned. Many of United's sponsors may also benefit from the exposure Mourinho brings.
United and Mourinho do have a common interest where Adidas is concerned, though. The club have a 10-year deal with the German sports retail giant worth 990m Euro, while Mourinho is an enthusiastic global ambassador for Adidas and has a close friendship with its chief executive, Herbert Hainer.
Mourinho has agreed a three-year contract worth up to 16m Euro annually including bonuses but it is not thought to feature some of the complex pay structures in the contracts of the world's leading players.
In February 2014, United agreed a five-and-a-half-year contract with Wayne Rooney that, in addition to a basic salary and image rights, featured an agreement between the club's commercial arm and the England captain's own corporate vehicle - Stoneygate - that allowed United to sell all of Rooney's individual sponsorship rights.
The agreement meant United making a forward guarantee of payments to Rooney's company and enabled the player to benefit from the club's successful sales division. But it is thought extremely unlikely that United, or other top clubs, would enter into such arrangements with a manager.
Ryan Giggs is on holiday in Dubai debating whether to end his 28-year-old association at United or accept a role working with Mourinho at the club. It is thought Giggs, No 2 to Van Gaal and his predecessor David Moyes, has been offered a position that will help to bridge the gap between the first team and U-21s.
Meanwhile, United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger believes Mourinho's arrival would be "something special" and is relishing the prospect of the Portuguese and his great adversary, Pep Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach who will manage rivals Manchester City, going toe-to-toe.
"It looks like it could be an interesting derby," Schweinsteiger said.
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