English Premier League loses bid to ban loans between associated clubs

Wednesday November 22 2023

The English Premier League trophy on display at Turf Moor in Burnley, England on 11 August 2023 . PHOTO | AFP


The English Premier League (EPL) has failed in a bid to ban loan moves between associated clubs during the January transfer window, according to reports on Tuesday.

It was reported the EPL wanted to stop teams like Newcastle loaning a player from another club owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Newcastle have been linked with a loan swoop for midfielder Ruben Neves, who currently plays for Saudi club Al-Hilal.

Read: Why Saudi's billion-dollar football binge is race against time

Neves would fill the void in Newcastle's team left by Sandro Tonali following the Italian's 10-month ban for breaking rules on gambling.

The league needed 14 out of 20 clubs to vote for the ban at a shareholders' meeting in London on Tuesday.


But it is believed the vote only finished 13-7 in favour of a ban, leaving Newcastle free to make a January loan move for Neves.

PIF owns 80 percent of Newcastle and also took over Saudi Arabian clubs Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad in June.

Asked in November whether he would consider signing players based in the Gulf State, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said he was "open to signing anyone if they are good enough".

Treble winners Manchester City would be able to loan players from other clubs owned by the City Football Group.

In another blow, the league's clubs were unable to approve the terms of the so-called 'New Deal', a £900 million settlement between it and clubs in the English Football League.

Read: Five Premier League new signings to watch

The league had hoped to confirm the package at Tuesday's meeting, but it is understood no vote took place.

Despite a three-hour discussion there remains a sticking point surrounding new cost control measures for both Premier League and English Football League (EFL) clubs.

The EPL wants the matter resolved before the new independent regulator in English football is put in place.