Premier League clubs to vote on banning loan moves between related parties in January

Premier League sides will vote at the next shareholders’ meeting on a proposal to fast-track a ban on loan moves for players between associated clubs in the January transfer window.

The English top flight is recommending this temporary measure to protect the integrity of the competition and allow time to agree a longer-term solution.

If approved on November 21, it will prevent potential deals such a possible loan switch for Ruben Neves from Al Hilal to Newcastle United — both majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) — from happening in January 2024.

The step has not been specifically designed to block Newcastle from signing Neves, rather it is part of a wider ongoing discussion about associated party transactions, including front-of-shirt sponsorship.

But amid growing concerns among a number of its 20 members, the Premier League will endorse this significant rule change, even if it is only on an interim basis at first.

The vote will require at least a two-thirds majority (14 clubs) for the amended regulation to be adopted.

At present there is nothing stopping Premier League players being sold in one window and the team they join then agreeing a loan or permanent move back to the division with a side operating under the same ownership when the market re-opens, provided it is deemed fair market value.

Some teams want the rules to extend to permanent transfers and cover two windows after the initial transaction takes place — and this is likely to form part of the ongoing dialogue.

Portugal international Neves joined the Saudi Pro League club from Wolverhampton Wanderers in June but the 10-month suspension of Sandro Tonali for breaching rules on gambling has sparked speculation Newcastle could move for him as a temporary replacement in January.

The Premier League defines a related party as having “material influence over the club or (being) an entity in the same group of companies as the club”.

It says they judge such a party on the “substance of the relationship and not merely the legal form”.

Newcastle and Al Hilal fall into that category, as do Manchester City, Chelsea and many other Premier League sides which operate as part of multi-club models.

(Photo: Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

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