Premier League rivals vote to block Saudi-linked sponsorship at Newcastle Utd – .

Premier League rivals vote to block Saudi-linked sponsorship at Newcastle Utd – .

Top English football clubs have decided to block Newcastle United from signing sponsorship deals with entities linked to the club’s new Saudi owners.

The 20 Premier League clubs held an emergency meeting on Monday in which they voted to temporarily ban teams from making trade deals involving so-called related parties, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The motion was supported by 18 clubs. Newcastle voted against while Manchester City, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a billionaire member of the ruling Abu Dhabi family, abstained due to a legal opinion that the ban would be illegal , according to a person close to the club.

The vote highlights rivals’ resistance to Newcastle’s new owners, following the Premier League’s decision to approve the club’s purchase by the Saudi Arabia-led investment group from the British tycoon of the retail Mike Ashley.

Signing lucrative sponsorship deals with entities linked to Saudi Arabia could see Newcastle catch up with – and ultimately overtake – their league rivals, with funds to spend on players and the payment of competitive salaries.

The sponsorship rule will only be in effect for a month while clubs consider longer-term options, which may include regulations to ensure these trade deals are made at fair market value.

Newcastle declined to comment.

The emergency meeting and the vote were first reported by the Guardian.

The ban shows lingering concerns within football over state-backed clubs and sponsorship money from related parties with close ties – financial or otherwise – to club owners.

The Premier League is still investigating Manchester City over alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules designed to prevent clubs from gaining an unfair advantage by overspending. Last year, City overturned a two-year ban from the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s biggest club tournament, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that UEFA had failed. proved that the club had disguised its owner’s funding as sponsorship income.

Newcastle are the latest club to be bought out by state-linked owners, following the acquisition of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour and the purchase of Paris Saint-Germain by state-funded Qatar Sports Investments.

This month, the Premier League cleared the sale of Newcastle to the $ 450 billion Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the main investor in a property group that also includes British middleman Amanda Staveley and billionaire brothers Reuben.

The takeover, which apparently collapsed last year when it initially failed to gain Premier League approval, continued after Saudi Arabia ended a dispute over the hack with Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports.

The Premier League, which previously refused to endorse the deal, also insisted it had “received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would not control Newcastle United Football Club”.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs the PIF, which has six Saudi ministers on its board. PIF Governor Yasir al-Rumayyan, who is one of Prince Mohammed’s closest lieutenants, presides over Newcastle.

Activists, including Amnesty International UK, opposed the takeover, highlighting concerns over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, referring to the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents.


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