Newcastle: Premier League clubs vote to block sponsorship deals linked to owners


Premier League clubs have voted to temporarily block teams agreeing lucrative sponsorship deals linked to a club’s owners after the Saudi Arabia-backed £305m takeover of Newcastle. Eighteen clubs voted in favour of the ban at an emergency meeting on Monday.

Newcastle voted against and Manchester City abstained, with both questioning the legality of the move. It means a temporary one-month ban on deals linked to club owners while the issue is debated further.

Top-flight teams complained to the league after the Newcastle takeover was completed on 7 October because of frustration about how the deal passed the owners’ and directors’ test. Last week, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani said Financial Fair Play rules must be enforced around the takeover to ensure the 20 Premier League clubs are “playing the same game”.

The Premier League said it approved the takeover after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club. The Public Investment Fund (PIF), which will provide 80% of funds for the deal, is seen as separate to the state. This is despite the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, being listed as chair of PIF. PIF has assets of £250bn, making Newcastle one of the richest clubs in the world.


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