Arsenal, Puma officially announce kit deal

WE'RE SIGNING USAIN BOLT, YOU GUYS - Jason Merritt

We've all known about this for a while, but it's finally actually official.

Remember months and months ago, when the Internet was abuzz with rumors that Arsenal was going to ditch Nike kit for Puma and a huge sum of money? You should, because we wrotebunch of stuff about it. For reasons (perhaps the fact that Nike's deal still had over a year left on it when the news first broke) they held off on actually officially announcing anything until now. But today the whole thing is official - Puma will design and produce Arsenal's kit and other gear starting next season.

There's not a lot of actual information released by the club (as usual) on the deal, but plenty of speculation.

I'm no expert on business or finance, but that is A Lot Of Money. It's the biggest kit deal in Arsenal or Puma's history, and it's the largest right now in England. And if it is actually a five-year deal, that means it's a lot less restricting than past deals Arsenal has had. When we were building the Emirates Stadium, we negotiated some very long deals to build stability in finances as the debt for the stadium was paid down. But when soccer economics changed, it ended up backfiring as transfer fees and wages skyrocketed, and Arsenal ended up without as much money as its direct competition. A five-year deal creates more flexibility. And in addition, we haven't started spending the money yet - as a lot of us thought we might have.

We were speculating when Arsenal broke its transfer record to sign Mesut Ozil that it was the beginning of the rumored Puma money. Evidently it was not - meaning that Arsenal have even more cash at their disposal than it appeared in September. That money evidently will not help us this month (well, week now) but from here on, it should be really nice to have.

So yeah, this is what Ivan Gazidis does.

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