The News of the World report that new Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis will consider ripping up £112million of the club’s sponsorship deals when he arrives at the Emirates next month.
A former coporate lawyer, his main tasks will likely involve the business side of the club which includes marketing, transfers, wages and finance.
He will consider whether it makes sense to renegotiate the deals or buy out the contracts in the same way Peter Kenyon paid £24.5m to end Chelsea’s agreement with Umbro five years early in 2005.
A source close to the board said: “Keith successfully negotiated the deals with Emirates and Nike when cash was desperately needed up front to complete the stadium but they now appear weak.
“When Ivan was being interviewed one thing that was spoken about was how to increase revenue streams and, even in these tough times, the club believes there is the potential to negotiate more profitable contracts.”
Arsenal get £5.4m per year for their shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates, which runs to 2014. The airline has naming rights to the club’s stadium after signing a 15-year deal in 2006. And Arsenal have an £8m-a-year deal with Nike which runs until 2011 with an option to extend it by three years.
United receive £12.3m per year for their four-year deal with sponsors AIG and have a £23.3m-a-year package with kit makers Nike that has seven years to run.
Chelsea’s 10-year deal with Adidas is worth £10m a year and its contract with Samsung £10.2m a year.