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19th Oct 2021

Man City abstained from vote to block Newcastle sponsorship deals

Simon Lloyd

18 Premier League clubs voted through the legislation

Manchester City were the only Premier League club other than Newcastle not to vote in favour of new legislation which would prevent clubs from signing lucrative commercial deals that have links to their owners.

The other 18 Premier League clubs voted for the measures to be introduced – initially on a temporary basis – at an emergency meeting with the top flight’s stakeholders on Monday. Though initial reports claimed City joined Newcastle in voting against it, it is now being reported by numerous outlets, including the Manchester Evening News, that City opted to abstain from the vote.

Newcastle are said to have argued that enforcing such a rule change would be “anti-competitive”, with Lee Charnley, the club’s managing director, reportedly making it known that the club had received legal advice which said that such an amendment was unlawful. City agreed with Newcastle’s legal advice and opted to abstain as a result.

As things stand, the rule amendment is due to come into force next month, with many of the clubs voting in favour of it said to be keen for the change to be made permanent.

The emergency meeting and vote was triggered by the confirmation of Newcastle’s recent takeover, which sees Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund replace Mike Ashley as owner.

The Premier League approved the deal after receiving assurances that the new owners were not linked to the Saudi state. PIF is, however, chaired by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, sparking concerns that Newcastle will be able to agree multiple lucrative deals with businesses affiliated with the oil-rich kingdom.

City have numerous sponsorship deals with links to their Abu Dhabi owners, the most visible being the long-running stadium and shirt deals struck with Etihad Airways.

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