In a major win for Newcastle United, Premier League teams decided against a restriction on players arriving on loan from affiliated organizations.
For January alone, the English top division requested that the teams approve an amendment prohibiting loans into the competition. At the same time, they are working on new regulations to address loan situations and ownership of several clubs.
It was at the tail end of last season when the idea to ban loan arrangements with the Saudi Pro League teams was first proposed. This occurred with the acquisition of the four top teams in the Saudi Pro League by the Saudi PIF, which included Newcastle. These clubs are Al-Ittihad, Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, and Al-Ahli.
The Premier League allegedly requested further time from the 20 teams in confidential discussions so that they could fully resolve the complex issue of clubs borrowing players from partner clubs. A total of fourteen top-tier members were required to approve the expedited ban, but it failed to get the necessary two votes in a 12-8 decision.
This opens the door for clubs like Newcastle to deal with Saudi Arabian clubs supported by the PIF. As a related matter, the clubs voted down proposed changes that would have strengthened so-called affiliated party transactions.
Eight clubs vote against to prevent majority
The Telegraph has it that eight clubs voted against the ban. Those are Newcastle, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Everton, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City. The failure of the plan allows such clubs to take players on loan from partner teams. Each of these has associations with multi-club ownership.
Sheffield United voting against the ban upset those that voted in favor. Arabian Prince Abdullah bin Musaid Al Saud is the proud owner of them.
It is presently possible to sell several Premier League players in the same transfer window. Furthermore, the club may later agree to a loan or a permanent transfer back to the division with a team running under the same ownership.
Additionally, stricter regulations on business dealings between affiliated parties were also overturned, this time by a single vote. Thirteen clubs approved, falling one shy of the necessary threshold.
Except for Burnley, the same teams voted against it, resulting in a 13-7 vote. Director’s personal assets would have been much more at risk under such regulations.
No Premier League loan ban means Newcastle can dip into Saudi Arabia
Many English clubs were afraid feared their present loaning ability would end. Many clubs transfer players between teams in their network. That will still be a possibility. This implies that PIF, who control an 80 percent share at St. James’ Park, may still negotiate loan deals with Saudi clubs who play for Newcastle.
There was talk of bringing in players like Ruben Neves from Al-Hilal to replace Sandro Tonali. Newcastle spent $65 million on Tonali, who is out until August due to a gambling suspension. The Athletic says, however, that the Portuguese midfielder will likely remain in the Kingdom during the next January transfer window.
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