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

Mohammed Al-Jadaan insists there will be 'plenty of opportunities for sponsors' despite Premier League clubs voting in a temporary freeze on deals linked to owners, as Saudi finance minister insists £300m takeover is good for competition

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Saudi Arabia minister of finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan discusses the Newcastle takeover with CNBC

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

Mohammed Al-Jadaan also says there will be "plenty of opportunities for sponsors" despite Premier League clubs voting on Monday to impose a temporary freeze on deals with businesses linked to their owners.

The Saudi Arabia Investment Fund's (PIF) £300m takeover of the Magpies 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 whole football community" that there is another "serious competitor" to the English crown.

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

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

"I don't know the technicalities of the association in the UK. But I would say if people are worried about competition amongst clubs, and particularly now we have invested in one of them, possibly that is a good sign that there is a serious competitor coming their way.

"With sponsorship particularly, we do that not only with clubs that we own but with different clubs and events. I think there will be plenty of opportunities for sponsors and plenty of opportunities for the club."

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Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin says the club will need to be patient after their Saudi-led takeover as they target their first win in the Premier League

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

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Premier League financial fair play rules allow clubs to make maximum losses of £105m over a rolling three-year period. Any artificially inflated commercial deals would increase revenues coming into a club and allow them to get around the rules and spend more than they are allowed.

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

One Premier League executive said: "If we didn't have the ban, there would have been nothing to stop Newcastle signing a say £100m naming rights deal for their stadium with a Saudi company linked to their owners.

"They could then have used that money to buy players in January and get around our financial fair play rules"

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