Newcastle United will be able to sign players from Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund-owned [PIF] teams after Premier League clubs voted against implementing a temporary restriction on related-party loans.
Officials from all 20 top flight sides met in London on Tuesday to discuss a number of measures, including Everton’s recent points-deduction and Manchester City’s alleged Premier League breaches. Another topic was the potential banning of loan deals between associated clubs.
Newcastle’s recent links to Al-Hilal’s Ruben Neves have sparked a debate over the issue of late, with rival clubs allegedly unhappy at the prospect of the Magpies doing loan deals with PIF-owned clubs. The investment fund purchased majority stakes in Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad over the summer before a mammoth spending spree.
14 out of 20 Premier League clubs needed to be in agreement for the measure to be passed but with the vote failing to garner the appropriate support, Newcastle will be able to temporarily sign players from the four Saudi clubs in the January transfer window, should they desire.
Newcastle aren’t the only club that would have been affected by the proposed rule change. Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke also owns MLS side Colorado Rapids, while Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor has investments in French strugglers Lyon and Belgian club Molenbeek.
Manchester City have developed a vast network of football clubs dotted around the globe, with Abu Dhabi’s City Football Group owning 13 clubs in total. Meanwhile, if Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.3bn purchase of a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United is completed, he will become the minority owner of the Red Devils, while still owning French club Nice.
Newcastle have been linked with a loan move for Neves in recent weeks, with sporting director Dan Ashworth quizzed over a temporary deal for the former Wolves star last month.
“The current rules and regulations say there is nothing to stop it, currently,” Ashworth said. “But there is a potential that the various different organisations will look at things across related parties and what you can do to acquire players at a fair market value, which has already been in place for quite a while.”
Had it been voted through, the measure would only have put a ban on incoming loans, rather than outgoing, and would have been used as a temporary solution until a permanent plan could be put in place before the summer transfer window.
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