EXCLUSIVE: Premier League receives legal advice on ban preventing teams from being sponsored by companies linked to owners – after all clubs other than Newcastle and Man City vote in favor
- Premier League takes legal advice on ban on certain sponsorship deals
- Eighteen of the top 20 clubs voted in favor of the four-week ban
- The League wants to know if the ban can be made permanent
- The ban was accepted after Newcastle was taken over by a consortium funded by Saudi Arabia
The Premier League is seeking legal advice on whether its temporary ban on clubs from entering into sponsorship deals with companies linked to their owners can be made permanent as internal fighting caused by the Saudi-funded takeover of Newcastle Arabia is raging.
Eighteen of the top 20 clubs voted in favor of a four-week ban in an emergency meeting on Monday, with Newcastle voting against and Manchester City abstaining.
Newcastle reportedly consider seeking an injunction to block the measure, which was introduced in response to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s takeover of the club earlier this month, while City also questioned its legality .
But the other 18 clubs appear determined to restrict Newcastle’s purchasing power and have asked the Premier League to fine-tune the rule change to ensure it is legally enforceable.
Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and co-owner Amanda Stavely in Sunday’s game
League chief Richard Masters has come under pressure from angry clubs over takeover
The takeover of Newcastle has caused a real crisis for the Premier League executive, which is caught between angry clubs demanding regulation to prevent a spending spree funded by Saudi Arabia and a government that has had to influence to get the deal through.
A working group is being set up to look at other possible rule changes, and Newcastle has been invited to do so.
The next Premier League shareholders’ meeting is scheduled for November 11, when they could vote to make the ban permanent.
A group led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman finalized the buyout of Newcastle for Â£ 305million last week
City’s decision to abstain on Monday was based on a legal opinion that the restriction on trade deals could be seen as anti-competitive, as well as concerns about the speed of the decision and the governance of the Premier League.
The club’s stadium, training ground and shirts are all sponsored by Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national airline controlled by their owners.
Meanwhile, BBC Sport has come under fire for its coverage of the Newcastle takeover, with the company slammed by MPs at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee meeting for downplaying related human rights issues to Saudi owners.
BBC expert and Newcastle legend Alan Shearer was honored after speaking positively about the takeover.
Asked by MP Julian Knight on the relevance of Shearer’s perspective on Newcastle’s new owners, BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said potential for more investment would mean.