Manchester United Only Get £13.1 Million From £187.1 Million in Cristiano Ronaldo Kit Sales

© AFP 2023 / Paul EllisФутболист Криштиану Роналду на тренировке
Футболист Криштиану Роналду на тренировке - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.09.2021
Since joining Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo’s kit sales have dwarfed the competition. His £187.1 million in sales almost double Lionel Messi’s £103.8 million. With all the interest he’s generating, United should be making a killing. Here’s why they’re not.
Cristiano Ronaldo has set another record. He now owns the record for the fastest-selling jersey in Premier League history. Since Manchester United announced its no. 7 kit, sales have already reached £187.1 million. While the staggering number shows the enthusiasm surrounding his return, Manchester United has hardly been the benefactors.
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As is standard practice, United receive 7% from kit sales in commission. Ronaldo’s arrival has led to £187.1 million in kit sales, but that has only translated to £13.1 million for United. When a director of football says a player will pay for themselves in kit sales, they’re lying out of their teeth. Using Ronaldo as an example, he cost United £12.9 million in upfront costs to be pried from Juventus, but that leaves out the potential for it to rise to £19.4 million with add-ons, and his £385,000 a week wages. Ronaldo signed for two years at nearly £20 million a year. That, when added with his potential transfer fee, means for Ronaldo to pay for himself in kit sales, he’d need to generate almost £60 million in commissions for United. For United to reach that figure, Ronaldo’s jersey would have net £857.1 million in sales over the next two seasons.
Soccer Football - Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - 29 August 2021 General view of Manchester United fans holding up a cardboard cut out of Cristiano Ronaldo - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.09.2021
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However, all is not lost for Manchester United. While clubs hardly make any money from kit sales, they make a killing selling the rights to make their kits and be a sponsor. United signed a 10 year £750 million deal with Adidas to be their exclusive kit manufacturer. That, coupled with the £47 million a year deal that TeamViewer dished out to be the kit sponsor, and United are raking in £122 million a year regardless if a single kit is sold. The TeamViewer deal was signed earlier this year and represents a £17 million decrease a year from their previous sponsor Chevrolet. If United had known that Ronaldo was coming back, they likely could have landed an even more lucrative kit sponsor. Ronaldo won’t be paying for himself in kit sales, but his presence makes United much more attractive to sponsors, which is where the real money is.
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