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Champions League qualifier AZ Alkmaar switches to Nike

(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Dutch Eredivise football club AZ Alkmaar will switch its kit supplier from Under Armour to Nike after this season.

The club signed a five-year deal with Under Armour in 2015 but will see Nike take over for the next five years, from 2020-21 to 2024-25.

Under the deal, the club’s fan centre at AFAS stadium will be transformed into a Nike store in the summer, where the new AZ collection for the 2020-2021 season will be for sale.

AZ’s chief executive Robert Eenhoorn said the club was “extremely proud” to bring the world’s largest sports brand to the club. He said “Nike is a sports brand with a global reach and stands for reliability and innovation.

“Those core values ​​are a perfect fit for AZ. We think this partnership will help us to grow in new markets. We are therefore looking forward to a successful collaboration.”

AZ Alkmaar were positioned second when the Dutch league season was suspended on March 12 because of Covid-19.

The Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) subsequently ruled that the 18-team league would not attempt to finish the season and awarded the Champions League places for 2020-21 to the leaders Ajax and second-place AZ , which will enter the competition at the second qualifying round.

The move created an outcry from the two club’s leading the chase for promotion to the Eredivise – Cambuur and De Graafschap – which have taken the KNVB to court as they look to reverse the decision.

AZ Alkmaar is backing their bid for promotion with the solution of a 20-team Eredivisie.

Eenhoorn told Dutch media that a 20-team league could have been discussed by the KNVB. “We were in favour of that,” he said. “Of course it is difficult to integrate into the programme. In the call between the KNVB and the clubs it was said that it was almost impossible, but that does not mean that it is impossible.”