Newcastle takeover: Saudi finance minister says new competitor is good for Premier League

By Lyall Thomas

Mohammed Al-Jadaan insists there will be “ plenty of opportunities for sponsors ” despite Premier League clubs voting on a temporary freeze on owner-linked deals as the Saudi Finance Minister insists that the £ 300 million takeover is good for the competition.

Saudi Arabia’s finance minister insists his association with Newcastle United can only be good for Premier League competition.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan also says there will be “many opportunities for sponsors” despite Premier League clubs voting on Monday to impose a temporary freeze on deals with companies linked to their owners.

The £ 300m acquisition of the Magpies by the Saudi Arabian Investment Fund (PIF) has been met with widespread concern from human rights groups and the other Premier League clubs, but Al-Jadaan believes it is “good for the entire football community” that there is another “serious competitor” to the English crown.

“This is PIF’s investment and basically, as they said, they are investing in the club but also in the community, the academy and the stadium itself,” he told CNBC. “This is one investment among many.

Saudi Arabia's finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan
Image: Saudi Arabia’s finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan

“I am not aware of the technicalities of the association in the UK. But I would say that if people are concerned about competition between clubs, and particularly now that we have invested in one of them, it is possibly a good sign that there is a serious competitor out there. comes towards them.

“With sponsorship in particular, we do it not just with the clubs that we own, but with different clubs and events. I think there will be a lot of opportunities for sponsors and a lot of opportunities for the club.”

Newcastle threatened to sue the Premier League and the 18 clubs that voted on the temporary sponsorship freeze because they believe it is illegal. Manchester City abstained from voting.

The Premier League’s financial fair play rules allow clubs to make maximum losses of £ 105 million over a continuous period of three years. Any artificially inflated business deal would increase a club’s income and allow them to bypass the rules and spend more than is allowed.

The temporary freeze will be in effect for a month while talks are held about a permanent rule change.

A Premier League executive said: “If we didn’t have the ban, there would have been nothing to stop Newcastle from signing a £ 100m naming rights deal with a Saudi company linked to its owners.

“Then they could have used that money to buy players in January and circumvent our financial rules of fair play.”

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