Marouane Fellaini is suing New Balance for £2 million in damages after the shoe brand prematurely terminated his contract, which the company said it did because Fellaini wore the shoes without the logo, which Fellaini said he did because the shoes were pieces of crap that hurt his feet, and the logo peeled off. And now this is all going to England’s high court.
There’s no date set for the high court hearing but a judge’s eventual decision could hinge on a series of contradictory late-night WhatsApp messages between New Balance and Fellaini, in which both sides call each other “friend” a lot. From the Guardian:
Lawyers for Rosalina said in August 2016 Fellaini had asked for boots which were wider and longer. A month later he had sent a message which read: “a big problem no comfy at all.”
At 2.10am on September 30 2016 he had written: “Hello my friend. I had a game tonight I played 90 min and after the game I can’t walk my friend ... my toe one more than other but both boss I can’t sleep... I have so much pain.”
Later that morning he had added: “I have to see the pedicure this morning.”
Lawyers for Rosalina said in September a member of New Balance staff had replied: “We can fix it my friend ... we have the big dogs working on this.”
Mr Mill said in January Mr Robson had asked: “Is the fit feel of the boots good?” – and Fellaini had replied: “Perfect for the boots.”
The Guardian reported that Fellaini’s lawyer, Ruth den Besten, said, “The football boots supplied by New Balance were of poor quality and caused considerable damage to Mr Fellaini’s feet.” Fellaini alleged the cleats needed to be “steamed and stretched” by equipment managers before he could wear them.
Earlier this month, New Balance said it would “vigorously defend itself” against these claims, per ESPNFC. The company also said it provided Fellaini with new shoes after he told them they were uncomfortable.