Marouane Fellaini Suing New Balance over Contract Issues

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2017

Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini heads the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between FC Basel and Manchester United on November 22, 2017 in Basel. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

Marouane Fellaini is reportedly suing sportswear manufacturer New Balance over breach of contract, per Victoria Ward of the Telegraph, thanks to a pair of football boots the Manchester United midfielder says were of "defective quality."

The player is being represented by an investment company who will seek as much as £2 million in damages for the Belgium international, per Brian Farmer and Simon Smith of the Manchester Evening News.

Fellaini has revealed how the boots had to be "steamed and stretched" by a Manchester United kit man prior to him wearing them.

Farmer and Smith also described the issues on which the company representing Fellaini is basing his pursuit of damages: "Rosalina Investments says 'defective boots' had an 'impact' on 30-year-old Fellaini's performance and caused a 'loss of enjoyment' and 'inconvenience'."

Fellaini has said a pair of defective boots hampered his performance for United.
Fellaini has said a pair of defective boots hampered his performance for United.PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

For their part, New Balance has said replacements were sent to Fellaini after his initial complaints. They also noted that the contract was first breached by Fellaini, who wore the boots without the New Balance logo on them. 

The company is represented by Ian Bell QC, who relayed New Balance's attempts to solve Fellaini's problem: "The player orally informed Mr Simon Crawford of New Balance that he was experiencing discomfort when wearing certain boots. New Balance therefore arranged for the player to be provided with bespoke replacement boots."

The case will likely hinge on messages passed over WhatsApp between Fellaini and New Balance. These messages are among the documents potentially up for study at the High Court in London, per the report.

Barrister Ruth den Besten recounted one such message received by Fellaini after the 30-year-old had complained of needing a pedicure after wearing the boots, per Farmer and Smith: "We can fix it my friend ... we have the big dogs working on this."

Fellaini's manager is concerned the player could move on next summer.
Fellaini's manager is concerned the player could move on next summer.Julian Finney/Getty Images

Fellaini's case is one more reason why the former Everton midfielder is currently in the news. His future at United is also the subject of speculation after manager Jose Mourinho said he is worried the midfielder—who is out of contract in 2018—could leave next summer, per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.