Premier League fails to gain majority vote to stop inter-club loans between clubs with same owners

November 22 – Newcastle United will be allowed to bring in loan players from foreign teams controlled by their Saudi owners in the January transfer window after a vote on a temporary ban on related-party loans did not get enough support from Premier League clubs.

A crunch vote at the Premier League shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday was split 13-7 in favour of fast-tracking a ban on loans between associated clubs but it was still one vote short of the the two-thirds majority required.

The vote means that Newcastle, who in October 2021 were acquired by a group led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in a £305 million deal, will be permitted to loan players from other clubs also owned by the group.

PIF owns majority stakes in Saudi Arabia’s Pro League ‘big four’ – Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al-Hilal – who signed players including Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Ruben Neves and Neymar in the last transfer window.

Newcastle have been hit by a major injury crisis in recent weeks and have been linked with a number of players at PIF-owned clubs.

Manchester City and Chelsea are two other clubs that operate a multi-club model, prompting questions of sporting integrity. The Premier League itself was understood to be in favour of introducing the ban which would have applied only to incoming loans, not outgoing.

Unconfirmed reports say Newcastle, Manchester City and Chelsea were all, not surprisingly, against introducing a ban, proposed as a temporary measure until a concrete solution could be agreed before the summer transfer window.

The others apparently were Sheffield United, Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest and Burnley.

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