Blockbuster Chelsea and Aston Villa-inspired UEFA meetings to impact Newcastle United PIF ambitions

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UEFA are set for crunch talks this week prompted by investment from Chelsea, Brighton and Aston Villa alongside other high flying clubs.

Newcastle United's big-money owners could be prevented from investing in any other football clubs should UEFA decide to introduce dramatic changes following crunch talks this week.

The governing body is set to hold a two-day meeting this week to discuss multi-club ownership in football as Chelsea become the latest club to announce the forming of a network following the purchase of Ligue 1 side Strasbourg last week.

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UEFA's Club Financial Control Body could either relax the rules and therefore give owners confidence in pushing other deals for clubs across the continent ahead. However, they could also tighten regulations and cause havoc by denying clubs involved in multi-club systems to play in European competitions.

The i reports that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin will lean towards a more lenient approach and alter rules to allow for multi-club set-ups by the start of the 2024/25 campaign.

Current regulations do not stop club owners from investing in more than one team, so long as they are not in the same competition, but the lower-ranked side is currently disqualified as a result.

It hadn't posed too much of a problem for UEFA but a couple of pinch points have started to pop up over the last 12 months.

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Brighton have qualified for the Europa League but owner Tony Bloom also has Belgian Pro League side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise to his name, who are currently in the Europa League play-offs.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa have qualified for the Europa Conference League but Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens-owned Portuguese side Vitória de Guimarães are also in the competition.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom also owns a Belgian Pro League side (Image: Getty Images) Brighton owner Tony Bloom also owns a Belgian Pro League side (Image: Getty Images)
Brighton owner Tony Bloom also owns a Belgian Pro League side (Image: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Ceferin recently said: “There is more and more interest for this multi-club ownership and we shouldn’t just say no [to] the investments, and for multi-club ownership but we have to see what kind of rules we set in that case, because the rules have to be strict.”

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), which currently owns Newcastle United, does have majority stake in four Saudi Pro League clubs but none others that fall into UEFA ruling.

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However, there have been reports of interest to invest with links to a purchase of Belgian Pro League club KV Kortrijk as part of a multi-club model.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit in London in March, co-owner Amanda Staveley revealed the Magpies were looking at the multi-club model in order to enhance its global brand and boost player recruitment.

Staveley said: “We’re looking at everything in terms of how we grow our brand, our club. Opportunities to buy players affordably well early in the cycle are critical to our growth. We’re very focused on the academy and young players. We’re bringing some exciting guys in.

“Obviously we’ve looked at a multi-club but whenever you look at multi-club you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right fit with the changes around GBE points at the moment. It’s important to do that.

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Amanda Staveley alongside Yasir-Al-Rumayyan (c) and Mehrdad Ghodoussi (Image: Getty Images)Amanda Staveley alongside Yasir-Al-Rumayyan (c) and Mehrdad Ghodoussi (Image: Getty Images)
Amanda Staveley alongside Yasir-Al-Rumayyan (c) and Mehrdad Ghodoussi (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

“You also have to choose your territory correctly and make sure you’ve got the right chemistry. Remember, you’re working with another fanbase and another area. It’s critical you set out what your goals will be. It’s complicated.

“We’re also looking at another structure that would allow us to do both, maybe something that gives us more opportunity to work with a lot more clubs. That’s just quite an early stage. I think anybody who is looking to buy a club is going to be looking at that multi-club model.”

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