Fellaini fails in bid to sue New Balance over defective football boots

The Belgian international cannot sue New Balance, a judge ruled The Belgian international cannot sue New Balance, a judge ruledCredit:EDDIE KEOGH/REUTERS Marouane Fellaini had complained that his “defective” football boots were too tight, damaging his feet and causing untold pain.But a High Court judge has thrown out the Manchester United player’s bid to sue New Balance, concluding that his contract with the sportswear giant was invalid, meaning he did not have to be wearing them at all.Fellaini had attempted to sue the sports giant for £2 million in damages, claiming his boots had to be “steamed and stretched” and that the manufacturers had simply copied boots made by their competitor, Nike.Rosalina Investments, an investment company representing the Belgian national, said bosses at the sportswear firm breached an agreement to pay Fellaini if he wore the company’s boots.But lawyers representing New Balance asked Mrs Justice May to halt litigation, arguing that the claim had “no real prospect of success” and should be dismissed. Ian Mill QC, for New Balance, said there were no “reasonable grounds” for asserting that a valid contract had been in place.The judge heard that Fellaini signed a four-year deal with New Balance, worth £600,000-a-year, in 2012.But when that expired in September 2016, a new contract was never formally agreed.The judge acknowledged that both sides had continued to communicate beyond this date as if a contract was in place, including repeated communications about the alleged pain his boots were causing him. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But she described Fellaini’s refusal in December 2016 to attend any further personal appearances until a new contract was signed as “significant”.“It follows that the case based upon breach of contract is in my view bound to fail,” she said.Fellaini said he would appeal.

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