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Premier League expected to ban player moves between co-owned entities

The November 21st vote would ban Newcastle from securing loans involving top Saudi Arabian Clubs

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Newcastle United v Al Hilal - Friendly Game Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Following Newcastle’s midweek 3-0 dismantling of Manchester United to capture their spot in the Carabao (League Cup) Quarterfinal in December, manager Eddie Howe had to orchestrate a quick turnaround for Saturday’s clash against second-place Arsenal FC which saw them come out on top 1-0.

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s 2-0 dismantling at Borussia Dortmund was a crash back to a reality of the endless grinder of suspensions, injuries, and minutes that starts to pile up as the season progresses.

The Magpies began the clash visibly listless with both Miguel Almiron and Anthony Gordon on the bench, and the squad didn’t seem to wake up until the first goal was put in at the 26th minute by a Niclas Fullkrug who proved to be an annoying pest the whole match.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where we stand on the injury front with probable return dates:

  • Bruno Guimares: Suspension, Nov. 25
  • Alexander Isak: Groin, Nov. 25
  • Sven Botman: Knee, Dec. 10
  • Elliot Anderson: Back, Dec. 26
  • Dan Burn: Back, Early 2024
  • Harvey Barnes: Toe, Early 2024
  • Jacob Murphy: Shoulder, Early 2024
  • Matt Targett: Groin surgery, Feb. 2024
  • Sandro Tonali: Gambling Ban, Aug. 2024

So, what’s next for a Newcastle squad drowning in suspensions, injuries, and finger-pointing from Arsenal’s Insufferable Bellyacher?

Why, how about a hastily assembled new EPL rule banning loan moves between “related parties” (owners of multiple teams) that will come into effect just before this January’s transfer window?

It’s a rule on paper that makes a lot of sense, but it seems suspicious and frankly a bit humorous that it’s being pushed for a November 21st vote right as rumors of Newcastle looking to Saudi Arabian teams for potential player loans like Ruben Neves are hitting the news cycle.

After all, where was all this hand-wringing when Chelsea FC recycled their dead wood almost exclusively to Saudi Arabia to the tune of €254m this summer?

As a reminder, here’s a quick list of 10 club owners who own multiple teams across Europe. That list doesn’t even include Chelsea’s Todd Boehly—who purchased French League One side Strasbourg this May.

The multiple ownership model allows teams like Manchester City to loan players like 21-year-old Yan Couto to their sister club Girona FC (oddly enough sitting first in La Liga, two points above Real Madrid) in mutually beneficial moves for all parties.

Making the issue complex specifically for Newcastle is that the Saudi PIF (who own Newcastle) purchased the top four clubs in the Saudi Pro League at the beginning of this summer. This was the move that kickstarted all the high-priced veteran footballer purchases over the summer such as the one that saw Allain Saint-Maximin depart Tyneside.

These pieces were used as blocks to build a foundation for a league looking to expand its reach after the initial move of centerpiece Cristiano Ronaldo last season.

So while the EPL and its other nineteen owners may lament a “new trend” of owners who utilize the club system to further their own selfish ambitions, make no mistake; this is a move to block Newcastle from access to an entire league flush with cash and expanding, allowing all the other clubs to enrich themselves by selling off high priced castaways and helping themselves to loanees who shockingly no longer want to live in Saudi Arabia after stuffing their bank accounts with bloated salaries.

As the report indicates, the language of the new rules is ongoing. Will moves between co-owned teams be permanent, or simply not be allowed over the course of a designated number of transfer windows? We will find out soon enough, but don’t be surprised if the solution the other owners agree upon is one that ensures the most roadblocks possible for Eddie Howe and the Magpies this January and beyond.

On a final note: just how many Red Bull Football Clubs are there across the world!?