NEWCASTLE UNITED will be able to loan players from the leading clubs in Saudi Arabia in January after a Premier League vote on a temporary ban on loan deals between clubs with the same ownership failed to secure the required support.

Today’s Premier League shareholders’ meeting in London featured a motion that would have outlawed related-party loan deals until at least the end of the season, by which point it was intended that a more permanent ruling would have been in place.

However, to be passed, the temporary restriction needed the support of 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs, who each have equal voting rights within the organisation.

The final voting saw 13 clubs support the ban, but with seven clubs voting against the legislation, it will not be inserted into the Premier League’s rule book.

As a result, Newcastle will be free to agree January loan deals with the four Saudi Pro League clubs that are majority owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which also owns 80 per cent of the Magpies.

That could mean Newcastle look to sign al-Hilal midfielder Ruben Neves on a season-long loan to help address the midfield issues that have been caused by the ten-month ban handed to Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali after he breached betting regulations.


Neves, who moved to Saudi Arabia from Wolves in the summer for a fee of around £47m, has been touted as a potential January target for Newcastle, whose financial dealings remain heavily constrained by the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

While the Magpies could struggle to sign players on a permanent basis in January, they should be able to sign off loan deals, even if those deals include a clause for a possible permanent transfer at the end of the season.

With England international Kalvin Phillips an alternative loan option, it remains to be seen whether Newcastle opt to push through a move for Neves, who is not believed to be pushing for an exit from Saudi Arabia.

Either way, today’s ruling significantly increases Newcastle’s January options, with a number of Saudi clubs expected to look to restructure their squads at the turn of the year.

Perhaps significantly, it also means that Manchester City will be able to continue to do business with the other clubs within the City Football Group, Chelsea can continue to trade with French side Strasbourg, which is also part-owned by Todd Boehly, and Crystal Palace can swap players with French club Lyon, who are also part-owned by Eagle Football Holdings Limited.

Had the Premier League vote been passed today, it would have dealt a major blow to all clubs’ future hopes of developing the kind of multi-club ownership model that is becoming increasingly popular in a number of leading footballing jurisdictions.