Wed 12 Jun 2024, 13:00 · Ash Harrison

Former Manchester City financial adviser says rules under scrutiny in court were brought in to stifle Newcastle

Former Manchester City financial adviser says rules under scrutiny in court were brought in to stifle Newcastle
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Manchester City and the Premier League are currently locked in arbitration as the Champions look to bring an end to rules regarding "fair market value" for associated parties.

The rules in question were brought in right after Newcastle United's PIF-backed takeover was greenlit and were installed to stop clubs striking up sponsorships at inflated prices with companies associated to the club's owners.

The Saudi PIF has its fingers in many pies and could easily have got someone like Aramco to sponsor the club for £1bn instantly pumping money into the club were it not for the Premier League's new rules.

Now that rule is stifling other clubs from doing similar and Manchester City, backed up by Aston Villa are taking it to the courts citing it as anti-competitive.

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The Premier League have always denied that the rules, which were tightened up in February this year, were a direct response to Newcastle's takeover, but the timing says otherwise

The bottom line here is that clubs wouldn't have to try to circumvent the rules this way if they were allowed to spend their own money.

Now former Man City financial adviser Stefan Borson has told TalkSPORT that he believes the rules were originally set up to block Newcastle, but also says he doesn't expect City to win their case.

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Given how much of an advantage it could potentially give the likes of Man City and Newcastle to scrap these rules, they'd obviously not get much support from the other clubs in the league and that could be enough to scupper the whole process.

"These sorts of challenges are typically very difficult to win and, therefore, they're likely not to succeed. But a lot of the other noise around it in terms of it being the end of the game or the end of regulation? City are not seeking to destroy the entire set of Premier League rules.

"This is about a set of rules brought in back in 2021 directly on the back of the takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudis. That is not in dispute. Then they were expanded in February, 2024 relating to three clubs: one of them is Chelsea, one of them is City and one of them is Newcastle. It's a warning sign for any of the clubs that are up for sale not to sell to certain types of owners."