All 20 Premier League clubs held an emergency meeting in response to Newcastle’s recent Saudi takeover. The problem the other clubs have is the potential for Newcastle’s oil-rich new owners from using their own businesses to provide sponsorship deals to the club.
Despite the claim by Newcastle representative Lee Charnley that it was unlawful, 18 out of 20 club representatives voted for a temporary ban on commercial arrangements that involve pre-existing business relationships. Charnley’s reasoning, according to the Guardian, is that the amendment would be anti-competitive.
Manchester City, unsurprisingly, chose to abstain from voting, while Newcastle voted against the amendment. Manchester City are owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi and deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. They are already under financial scrutiny by the league because of sponsorships such as the one with Etihad Airways, which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.
The temporary ban will going into effect next month, and the clubs are said to be keen on the law to become permanent.
Their plan is to put together an exploratory team made up of representatives from every Premier League team to investigate whether such changes could be made for the long term.
Is anyone surprised that the thing that got the other clubs in the league to object to Newcastle’s new Saudi owners was money?