Chelsea close commercial gap on Manchester United with record £900m Nike shirt contract
Chelsea have signed the most lucrative commercial deal in their history - a £60m per year, 15-year shirt contract with Nike that lifts them up to near-parity with some of the biggest clubs in the European elite.
Chelsea secured the Nike contract after the club paid £40m to exit their Adidas deal six years early. Chelsea will wear Nike shirts from the start of the 2017-18 season, with the deal officially to commence on July 1.
The deal is worth twice what Adidas were paying Chelsea - the club had become frustrated that the German sportswear company was prepared to pay much more to secure or maintain the rights for other European sides.
Manchester United earn the most with their Adidas deal worth £75m a year while Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are on bigger Adidas deals than Chelsea .
Arsenal earn £30m a year from Puma, the next biggest current Premier League shirt deal. Manchester City earn around £12m annually from Nike, although that deal is up for renewal in 2019.
Chelsea's deal, the biggest external commercial agreement in their history, was brokered by the club's influential director, Marina Granovskaia.
The club also recently signed their £40m matchday shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama and a £10m training kit deal with energy drink Carabao.
Chelsea believe John Terry (pictured) will be ready to make his comeback against Leicester City tomorrow after training this week . The 35-year-old injured an ankle in the 2-2 draw with Swansea on September 11 and has not played since then .
Antonio Conte played a three-man defence, with wing-backs, against Hull in the club's 2-0 win at the KCOM Stadium, and it will be intriguing to see whether he persists with that formation in the lunchtime kick-off with Terry available.
The Chelsea team trained under Conte yesterday with no suggestion that the Italian is about to leave the club despite a number of betting websites having suspended bets on him being the next manager in the Premier League to be sacked.
Conte has told Willian that he can take as much time as he needs after the death of the Brazil international's mother from cancer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)