Jose Mourinho to Manchester United: Complications with image rights delaying deal

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United fans are waiting eagerly in anticipation of Jose Mourinho being announced as our new manager but they have been left sitting on their hands for two days now.

Having waited five months too long for Louis van Gaal to be shown the door, a couple of days won’t hurt us but we wanted to run through the reasons why it is being delayed to explain what complications are causing the delay and when we can expect an outcome.

The main point being discussed is to do with Mourinho’s image rights and how they are going to be weaved into his contract with United. To Jose, they are going to be worth millions and are a crucial point to agree on. For United, there are complications.

Chelsea own the trademark to Jose Mourinho. Yes, they own his name. The European Union’s Intellectual Property Office confirms Chelsea first sent the application in back in 2005 and own it until 2025.

While this will not be a blocker to any move – after all he’s joined Inter Milan and Real Madrid since – it does pose as a hurdle because United will not be allowed to sell any merchandise with Mourinho’s name on it, not even a shirt. Understandably, this is not an issue which can be resolved within a few minutes and United’s legal team will be working with Jorge Mendes’ to come to an agreement.

Separately, Mourinho as an individual brand is causing some potential conflicts due to his personal sponsors. Mourinho’s watch sponsor is Hublot whereas United’s is Bulova – ironically, Hublot was previously the club’s official one – and Jose also has Jaguar as a car sponsor which could conflict with United’s main sponsor Chevrolet. Mourinho having his own sponsors is indicative of what we’re signing – he’s more than just a manager, he’s a brand in himself. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you to decide.

It’s so unbelievably United that our commercial success off the pitch is actually posing itself as a problem now but it is not something which will stop Mourinho joining as manager, it will only delay proceedings. Hopefully Mourinho’s tomato juice partner in Azerbaijan won’t conflict with United’s because then we’ll all be in a pickle.

Just to recap, the complications are to do with Mourinho’s image rights and how they are going to fit into his United contract as well as some potential conflicts with sponsors. Given how good their lawyers will be, this shouldn’t delay anything by more than a day or two.

Latest Top Stories...