John Terry is regarded as Mr Chelsea amongst the London club’s fans and indeed, even by supporters of other teams. He came through the Chelsea youth system, he’s the club captain and if you cut him, he’d probably bleed blue blood. But, is the Terry shade of blue about to get lighter?

Despite a handful of games on loan at Nottingham Forest, Terry is very much a one-club man. His performances have also seen him given the job of England captain as well as becoming the living embodiment of the Chelsea creed.

Terry celebrates Chelsea’s success in last season’s FA Cup final

However, it seems that Terry is being wooed by a club that finished 10th in the Premier League last season, a club that hasn’t qualified for Europe and one that hasn’t lifted a trophy since 1976 – Manchester City.

City do of course have one or two attractions. They are thought to be the wealthiest football club in the world, after being bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in September 2008 and as a result they are attracting players that would not normally consider a club with such a pedigree. They also have a sposnorship deal with Umbro, who since being acquired by Nike, look to be getting their act together.

City of Manchester Stadium

The home of Manchester City

It’s certainly an act that has caught the eye. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, journalist Jason Burt has been investigating just what influence Umbro might have, if any, of getting Terry to move north. As he discovers, there are number of interesting connections.

First off there’s City’s chief executive. Garry Cook is a former employee of Nike who now own Umbro.

One of Cook’s priorities when he took on the job was to change the club’s kit manufacturer. So out went Le Coq Sportif and in came Umbro who’ve signed a 10 year brand partnership.

manchester city umbro shirt

City and Umbro’s new shirt ‘teaser’ ahead of the retail launch on 18th July' 

Umbro are currently marketing themselves as the ‘English’ brand. The recent England shirt campaign emphasising the point with the ‘Tailored by Umbro in England’ strapline. And they don’t get much more English than JT.

As Burt points out, it’s natural to assume that Cook probably spoke to Umbro about his plans to sign the Chelsea defender.

Which brings us to another connection. Umbro sponsor Terry. He wears the Umbro Speciali football boot, was chosen to debut the England Speciali when it was launched and was also widely used to model the new England kit.

umbro england speciali

Umbro England Speciali

As well as manufacturing City’s new kit, Umbro are making the City Speciali too – a Limited Edition boot with the club crest on the sole plate. Imagine the sales if Terry was to wear that at the beginning of the new season!

john terry umbro man city speciali

Umbro Limited Edition Manchester City Speciali

Although Chelsea have continually said that Terry is not for sale, you only have to look at the recent deals involving Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo to realize that a) we’ve heard that line before and b) money talks.

As Burt suggests in his Daily Telegraph piece: Cook’s strength is marketing and brand awareness and its unthinkable that in his discussions over Terry and the eye-watering salary City are prepared to pay him, plus the huge transfer fee for a 28-year-old, that he has not factored in the money that can be recouped through the close links the club and the player have with Umbro.

Terry wearing the new Umbro England kit v Andorra earlier this summer

It also shows, perhaps, the direction in which more and more proposed transfer deals are moving. Its increasingly a business transaction as much, if not more, than a sporting one.

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  1. says: Jed

    Its an interesting theory. I’d love to know how much sway the brands have with clubs. Obviously its about money, just how much would Terry generate for Umbro and Man City?

  2. says: Michael

    I think that branding isnt a major factor in to wether a player moves or leaves a club, its down to the money invloved and Man city currently have plenty of it.

    Personally I am unsure if Terry will leave to Man City as they would probley have many players in a rotation, He is a first team player aswell so im not sure if will float his boat.

    On the note of umbro being part of Man city I reckon they would produce a big income, it would be like beckham when he was payed alot for sponsership.

  3. says: Adam Tosic

    I know Bayern used to say all there players had to wear adidas..

    but 300,000 a week is madness.. It would make Manchester City a interesting team.

  4. says: Splinter09

    Money Talks, specially nowadays with club owners and presidents with more money than sense. But If JT goes to Manchester City I don’t think Umbro will have much to do with it. It will be all about the Money coming from the Abu dhabi guy.

  5. says: Selly

    I truly hope that Umbro are not able to make Terry go to Man City. If that was the case we may as well let the brands own the clubs outright.

  6. says: VB

    I definitely agree with this theory and that is why I was very intrigued by the Real move to get Ronaldo. He went from a Nike superclub to an adidas superclub. The move didn’t make much business sense.

  7. says: Jack

    I doubt umbro will do anything about it, I wish umbro still sponsored chelsea though, adidas are good but they dont make chelsea boots (apart from those f50s but I didnt get any)

  8. says: Theo

    Yes. For Ronaldo to move to Real actually benefitted Adidas selling their shirts out ‘superfly’. But at the same time, he will still endorse Nike boots and therefore it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

    In the case of John Terry, I have a feeling he’s that kind of a guy who’ll go for the money. My apologies to JT fans but really, you just can’t love this guy. He’s like a Italian defender in an England shirt.

  9. says: Elsey

    Not while he’s wearing Adidas they wont. He’s been training in Adi Pures in the US (getty images if you dont believe me) there was even footage of him in Adi Pures this moring on SSN. Mr Chelsea could be Mr Adidas soon. I think this is a huge relief for Umbro, I wouldn’t want anything to do with Terry a dispicable character.

    oh he’s way past his best about two years past. he aint worth the 130/140k a week he gets now let alone 250!!!!

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