Premier League to lift temporary ban on owner-related sponsors

reuters

A temporary ban on owner-related sponsorship deals for Premier League clubs in the wake of a Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle has been lifted.

The block on such transactions was backed by 18 top-flight clubs in October with only Newcastle opposing and Manchester City abstaining.

Abu Dhabi-owned City's rise to be the dominant force in English football has been aided by sponsorship deals with a series of related parties in the gulf.

A group of club executives, which included Newcastle director and part-owner Amanda Staveley, was set up to draw up new rules on associated-party transactions which were agreed at a meeting on Tuesday.

Such deals will be permitted provided they are deemed to represent fair market value.

That is designed to prevent Newcastle from signing inflated sponsorship deals with Saudi-related companies to get around financial fair rules.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has an 80 percent stake in the club with Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and the billionaire Reuben brothers holding 10 percent each.

Newcastle is expected to invest heavily in the January transfer window to salvage their status as a Premier League club.

The Magpies have won one game all season and sit second from the bottom of the table ahead of a daunting run of fixtures against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United over the festive period.

Staveley said last month the temporary ban on Saudi-backed commercial deals had taken a toll.

"This moratorium was so difficult for us. We've really taken a big battering. And so I'm hoping that we'll get this lifted as quickly as possible," she told the club's media channels.

"The moratorium was a shock. We did not expect that to happen. How could you imagine that all commercial deals would be off?"


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