Leeds owner says FFP rules must be enforced around the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle 1 month ago

Leeds owner says FFP rules must be enforced around the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle

"Money in football is not always equal to success"

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has stated that it is vital that Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are enforced around the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United so that the 20 Premier League clubs are "playing the same game".

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The Magpies received confirmation last week that the £305m takeover had been approved after the Premier League received "legally binding assurances" that the Saudi Arabian state would have zero control in the football club.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) - who provided 80% of funds for the deal and therefore own that amount of the club - are viewed separately to the state, which was crucial in the deal going through. 

However, some people have questioned the possibility of this due to the fact that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is listed as chair of PIF.

"If the rule allows the sovereign fund to buy the club, that is totally fine," said Leeds owner Radrizzani, speaking at the FT Business of Sport US Summit.

"It is more about how to regulate Financial Fair Play in the Premier League to maintain competitiveness and fair play for everybody."

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In order to prevent clubs from spending above a specified amount, UEFA and the Premier League implement Financial Fair Play rules - which also provide a greater balance and element of 'fairness' within leagues. 

The rules require club to balance football-related expenditure, such as transfers and wages, with income - which also includes money raised by the club's commercial departments.

Any funds that are spent on stadiums/stadium development, training facilities, youth development or community projects are deemed exempt and therefore aren't governed by FFP rules. 

"The control of the regulation of the spending relating to revenues is important," said Radrizzani.

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"Also it is important that the revenues are real because when you have a government or a state controlling a football club, then you can create sponsorship through a controlled company. Then we are not playing the same game."

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