Newcastle United

Premier League clubs unite to block Newcastle sponsorship deals

Toby Cudworth
Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Amanda Staveley did not attend Monday's meeting
Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Amanda Staveley did not attend Monday's meeting / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Premier League clubs have voted through legislation that will prevent Newcastle's new owners from striking potentially lucrative sponsorship deals.

At an emergency meeting called on Monday, a motion was passed by 18 of the remaining 19 Premier League clubs that will temporarily ban commercial arrangements that involve pre-existing business relationships.

Manchester City, who are owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group and have benefited from such transactions in the past, were the only club to abstain from voting.

The Magpies were represented at the meeting by current managing director, Lee Charnley - who 90min understands is close to departing St. James' Park alongside manager Steve Bruce - and not Amanda Staveley, who is a minority stakeholder and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the club.

The Guardian note that Charnley expressed strong opposition to the law change, and stressed Newcastle had received legal advice saying that any amendment to the current rules would be unlawful.

But the clubs went ahead with the vote anyway, with many concerned that Newcastle's Saudi-led owners might conclude deals in their homeland which could place them at a significant advantage.

The changes, barring any interventions, will be implemented next month, and are designed to ensure that fair market price is paid by Newcastle in any forthcoming transactions.

Newcastle's takeover by a consortium fronted by PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers, and backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, has been one of the most controversial deals in football history.

Allegations of human rights abuses, war crimes in Yemen and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are just a number of issues associated with the club's new owners, although it's been claimed that they don't hold any relevancy because PIF - who own a majority 80% share in Newcastle - and not Saudi Arabia the state will be in control in the North East.

Nevertheless, the Premier League has been urged by Amnesty International to review their owners' and directors' test moving forward, with many other detractors also accusing Newcastle's new bosses of 'sportswashing' - a practice designed to improve the reputation and standing of a group or organisation by purchasing, sponsoring or participating in any given sport.