Premier League teams vote against ban on loans between associated clubs

Premier League clubs have voted against a temporary ban on loan deals between associated clubs for the January transfer window.

Thirteen top-flight teams voted to stop England’s top clubs from making related-party loan deals, with seven voting to keep the existing rules in place.

The minimum number of clubs needed to pass the temporary ban was 14. Clubs voted at a shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday over the temporary ban, with a view to sorting out a permanent policy.

Premier League clubs have voted against a ban on loaning players
Premier League clubs have voted against a ban on loaning players between associated clubs

The ruling means Newcastle, who are 80 per cent owned by The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) are in a position to loan players from the four Saudi Pro League clubs also owned by PIF in the upcoming window.

Those clubs are Al Nassr, Al Ahli, Al Ittihad and Al Hilal.

Al Hilal’s midfielder Ruben Neves, formerly of Wolves, is one player Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has admitted his club have an interest in.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves
Former Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves

Newcastle have a long injury list heading into the January window which includes Sven Botman, Callum Wilson, Elliot Anderson, Harvey Barnes, Jacob Murphy, Dan Burn and Matt Targett.

Meanwhile, Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali is banned from playing for 10 months due to breaches of rules on betting on matches in Italy.

Eleven of the 20 Premier League clubs have connections to other clubs through their owners, but Newcastle would have the biggest and strongest pool of players to trade should they decide to do so via these means in January.

The news also means Manchester United will not be banned from signing players on loan from French club OGC Nice, who are also owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group.

Furthermore, Manchester City can loan players from the City Football Group – which consists of 12 worldwide teams, including current LaLiga leaders Girona.

Ratcliffe is on the verge of completing a £1.5bn investment for 25 per cent of Manchester United.

Premier League players who have moved between associated clubs in the past include Frank Lampard, who joined Manchester City on loan from feeder club New York City in the 2014-15 season.

Frank Lampard celebrates after scoring in his final game for Manchester City
Frank Lampard moved from New York City FC to sister club Manchester City in the 2014-15 season

In January 2022, Brentford reacted to a long-term injury to former goalkeeper David Raya by taking Jonas Lossl on a short-term loan from sister club FC Midtjylland.

What does this mean?

Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“What a ban would have mean that, in January for instance, Newcastle who are 80 per cent owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, would not be able to loan players from other clubs who are majority run by the PIF.

“There has been a lot of talk that Newcastle are looking for a midfielder because Sandro Tonali is suspended, so would they go for Ruben Neves – who is a £50m player, but they could get for nothing in January?

“The vote on a temporary ban needed two-thirds majority to pass the ban but it fell short by one vote – 13 to 7. Newcastle who are part of multi-club groups will be able to loan from other clubs in their group, if they want to.

“Newcastle may want another midfielder, there has been a lot of speculation that Ruben Neves is another target for them.

“We shouldn’t target Newcastle, because almost half the clubs in the Premier League are now part of bigger groups. Some are part of groups of 10 clubs, some have other clubs in European leagues for instance where they send players for experience.

“Also, the great players in Saudi Arabia play for big clubs as well in the biggest league in Asia. Let’s not assume they will want to run away from Saudi Arabia and crawl into the Premier League.

“A lot of people in the Premier League are concerned about it, but in the future there could be a permanent policy issue. But there weren’t enough assenters in the room to vote for a temporary ban on Tuesday.”

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