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Premier League to vote on stricter commercial deal rules to curb Newcastle-Saudi revenue stream

Premier League clubs will vote on more stringent regulations for related-party commercial deals as they target Saudi Arabia-owned Newcastle United, according to the Daily Mail.

Several top-flight clubs want to restrict Newcastle’s ability to forge lucrative partnerships with Saudi companies and increase their commercial revenue.

Newcastle have come under scrutiny for their commercial relationships with companies in Saudi Arabia. 

The club recently raised eyebrows when news broke that they had a sponsorship agreement with Saudia, Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier airline

Saudia and Newcastle are owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Under the new regulations, clubs would be obligated to demonstrate multiple offers of equivalent value.

This development is a departure from the current ‘Fair Market Value’ process initiated in the wake of Newcastle’s 2021 takeover.

The Premier League currently assesses the fairness of such deals through independent valuation. 

Newcastle’s £25 million-per-year shirt deal with Saudi events firm Sela, sanctioned as fair by an independent valuer, was notably lower than agreements secured by top-six rivals.

However, the proposed rules mandate clubs to negotiate multiple offers of comparable value – a move that critics argue could be impractical and time-consuming. 

Clubs can currently submit such evidence, but the new rules would make it mandatory.

The decisive vote will take place during the upcoming Premier League shareholder meeting on November 21, and the expectation is that the requisite 14 clubs will endorse the proposed changes. 

This development raises concerns among experts regarding the Premier League potentially impeding normal business practices and potential breach of competition law.

The Premier League’s attempt to tighten regulations around commercial deals has been met with scepticism, prompting scrutiny over whether such measures might be an overreach that hampers healthy competition.

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