Pay from firms linked to EPL club owners set to be declared

Clubs are set to be required to declare to the league when players and coaches are receiving supplemental payments from deals with companies linked to their team’s ownership.

The rule change is being discussed by clubs as part of a tightening of financial regulations following the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s takeover of Newcastle. - AP

Premier League clubs are set to be required to declare to the league when players and coaches are receiving supplemental payments from deals with companies linked to their team’s ownership.

The rule change is being discussed by clubs as part of a tightening of financial regulations following the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s takeover of Newcastle, people with knowledge of the situation said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss rules yet to be adopted by the league.

The regulation was prompted by allegations about another state-owned club in the Premier League. Leaked information about Manchester City, published three years ago, pointed to Roberto Mancini receiving more pay from a team City owner Sheikh Mansour controls in Abu Dhabi to work as a consultant than from the Premier League club he was coaching.

Mancini managed City from 2009 to 2013 and won the Premier League title in 2012. The Football Leaks group published details showing Mancini at one point had a basic salary of GBP 1.45 million (now about USD 2 million) from City but also GBP 1.75 million from Al Jazira.

City has never responded to questions from The Associated Press about the financial arrangements for Mancini. The Italian also declined to discuss specifics when asked by the AP in 2020 about the payments.

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The information was initially published in the context of City’s compliance with UEFA financial fair play rules.

Under Premier League rules, clubs cannot make losses exceeding GBP 105 million (USD 144 million) over a rolling three-year period.

Premier League rivals were worried after last month’s takeover that Newcastle could use friendly sponsorship deals with Saudi companies to help it comply with rules designed to prevent wealthy clubs from spending unchecked.

A freeze on any clubs signing commercial deals with companies linked to their ownership was rushed through temporarily last month.

New regulations being formulated by a task force, including Newcastle director Amanda Staveley, could see the league having to approve sponsorships to ensure they are at fair market value. The financial controls advisory group also features Simon Cliff, the general counsel at City Football Group.

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