Newcastle: Premier League clubs vote to block owner-linked sponsorship deals

Newcastle fans lined the streets outside St James’ Park ahead of kick-off

Premier League clubs have voted to temporarily block teams that strike lucrative sponsorship deals linked to club owners after Newcastle’s £ 305million buyout from Saudi Arabia.

Eighteen clubs voted in favor of the ban in an emergency meeting on Monday.

Newcastle voted against and Manchester City abstained, both questioning the legality of the move.

This means a one-month temporary ban on club owner-related agreements while the issue is further debated.

Top-flight teams complained to the league after the takeover of Newcastle was completed on October 7 because of the frustration over 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 that all 20 Premier League clubs ‘play 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 the funds for the operation, is considered separate from the State.

This despite the fact that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has been appointed president of the PIF.

PIF has assets of £ 250 billion, making Newcastle one of the richest clubs in the world.

Several major European clubs have sponsorship agreements linked to their owners.

Manchester City’s stadium, training complex and shirts are sponsored by Etihad, the airline of Abu Dhabi. The owners of the city of Abu Dhabi took control of the club in 2008.

City successfully overthrown a two-year ban from European club competitions for breaking the rules of financial fair play after being cleared of all major charges related to the manipulation of sponsorship agreements in an appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the year last.

The Premier League’s own investigation of City for violating FFP rules has yet to be concluded.

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