Newcastle can now sign Saudi sponsors with EPL approval

Dec 13, 2021, 4:56 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2021, 6:57 am

Newcastle United's Callum Wilson, right, celebrates scoring during the English Premier League socce...

Newcastle United's Callum Wilson, right, celebrates scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Norwich City at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Tuesday Nov. 30, 2021. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

(Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Newcastle’s Saudi ownership can start signing up sponsors from the kingdom after new English Premier League rules were introduced to end the brief ban on clubs bringing in such deals to potentially inflate income.

After the Saudi state’s sovereign wealth fund took control of Newcastle, a freeze on any clubs signing commercial deals with companies linked to their investors was rushed through temporarily by rivals in October to prevent them being used unfairly to comply with financial regulations.

But Premier League clubs agreed at a meeting on Tuesday to introduce regulations that mean sponsorships from companies associated with a club’s owners can resume but will have to be approved by the competition’s board.

The Premier League will assess if deals such as jersey sponsorships and stadium naming rights have been negotiated at a fair value that other clubs could expect to generate from similar contracts rather than being inflated. The league will weigh up the value of the deal against a database of similar transactions and consult independent assessors.

Premier League rivals were worried Newcastle will use friendly sponsorship deals with related parties to help it comply with financial fair play rules that are in place to prevent rich clubs from spending unchecked. Under league rules, clubs cannot make losses exceeding 105 million pounds ($144 million) over a rolling three-year period.

Clubs will also have to declare any payments to players, managers and their officials from companies associated with the ownership to assess if they are for legitimate work rather than a means of offloading some of their main salary.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund bought an 80% stake in Newcastle to end the ownership of retail tycoon Mike Ashley.

PIF provided the league with legally binding guarantees that the kingdom does not own the club, while being unable to say publicly how that fits with the company board being headed by the Saudi crown prince and mostly featuring government ministers.

The remaining 20% of the club is owned by PCP Capital Partners, which is fronted by takeover broker Amanda Staveley, and the Reuben brothers who are property investors.

The northeast club, whose jerseys are sponsored by a Chinese gambling firm, is fighting relegation and can’t sign any players until the January transfer window.

Another Premier League club, Manchester City, also has ownership linked to a country. City has been controlled since 2008 by Sheik Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family and deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, Etihad, sponsors the jerseys and stadium at the reigning champion.


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Newcastle can now sign Saudi sponsors with EPL approval