Premier League Clamps Down on ‘Associated Parties’

    • Premier League clubs are now required to report any sponsorship deal worth more than $1.3 million.
    • The regulations are to ensure deals are not “associated party” transactions.

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New regulations from the Premier League will require clubs to submit any sponsorship deal worth more than $1.3 million to the league to determine if it’s an “associated party” transaction.

If the league suspects that a deal is involved with an “associated party” — defined as “having material influence over the club or entity in the same group of companies as the club” — then an independent firm will decide if the deal is of fair market value. 

Clubs will be required to submit their sponsorship deals dating back to 2016 by Jan. 11. Manchester City and Newcastle United both voiced their opposition to the new regulations.

Newcastle’s Influence

The league’s decision follows the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund’s $409 million deal for an 80% stake in Newcastle United.

  • Despite criticism from other clubs concerning government crossover and human rights abuses, the league ruled that the Saudi Arabia PIF is separate from the Saudi Kingdom. 
  • The PIF, which manages over $430 billion in assets, is led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. 

In an emergency meeting in October, clubs voted to block Newcastle from other “lucrative” deals. A temporary amendment was passed that month banning other related party transactions.

In November, Premier League chair Gary Hoffman announced he would resign in January, partially due to ongoing scrutiny.