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18th Oct 2021

Newcastle sponsorship deals to be blocked after Premier League clubs hold emergency meeting vote

Daniel Brown

18 Premier League clubs voted through legislation designed to prevent the Saudi owners from agreeing lucrative deals

Premier League clubs have voted against Newcastle United’s new Saudi owners being able to secure lucrative sponsorship deals during an emergency meeting held on Monday.

Representatives from top-flight sides voted through legislation that would block the Public Investment Fund from landing lucrative sponsorships, as per The Guardian.

Newcastle are said to have argued that enforcing such a rule change, which would trigger a temporary ban on commercial deals that involve pre-existing business relationships, would be anti-competitive. Lee Charnley – the club’s managing director – reportedly made it known that the club had received legal advice which said that such an amendment was unlawful.

Despite this, the vote was passed 18-2. The Guardian report revealed that Manchester City – a club whose Abu Dhabi-based owners have benefitted from similar sponsorship deals in the past – voted alongside Newcastle in opposition.

The rule is scheduled to come into force next month, with many Premier League clubs keen for it to become a permanent change. It is also thought that a ‘working party’ is currently being set-up, which includes a cross-section of clubs to look into whether or not any changes should be made – with Newcastle being asked if they would like to be part of the investigation.

Several top-flight clubs are seemingly concerned that Newcastle’s Saudi-backed takeover could see their new owners conduct deals in the oil-rich Kingdom. Despite repeated denials that the PIF is not the same entity as the Saudi state, the fact that it is chaired by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman has been repeatedly pointed out by those criticising the Premier League’s decision to approve the takeover last week.

The Premier League remain involved in an investigation – which has been ongoing for a while – into whether Man City have breached financial fair play regulations, something that City have denied.

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