Newcastle United’s Premier League rivals aim to strike lucrative deal with PIF-owned company next season

Chelsea have turned to Saudi Arabia in a bid to solve any potential PSR issues which could arise
Chelsea are trying to strike a key deal with PIF.Chelsea are trying to strike a key deal with PIF.
Chelsea are trying to strike a key deal with PIF.

Newcastle United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea are currently ‘in talks’ with Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s airline Riyadh Air in a move which could see the company become the Blues new front of shirt sponsor next season, according to reports from The Telegraph.

Riyadh Air, who were founded in March 2023, are already the sponsors of Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, who recently progressed to the quarter-final of the Champions League.

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The company is owned by PIF, who have notably had an 80% share in Newcastle United since their takeover in 2021. PIF governor Yasir Al Rumayyan is the current chairman of Riyadh Air and the Magpies and will act as a key figure in negotiations between the airline and the West London club.

Newcastle are already sponsored by a PIF owned company in Sela and the deal with the events and entertainment company is believed to be worth £25m according to reports from Shields Gazette.

The outlet understands that Newcastle will be held to different standards when doing business with PIF owned companies due to the rules and regulations that are in place regarding Premier League deals with associated parties. Last month, shareholders of Premier League clubs voted in favour of more strict rules regarding associated party transactions. 12 clubs voted in favour while six voted against and two abstained.

A statement from the Premier League at the time read: "Following a full review of the existing Associated Party Transactions Rules and Fair Market Value assessment protocols, clubs agreed to a series of amendments to further enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the system."

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Shortly after PIF acquired Newcastle, Premier League clubs voted to implement a temporary ban on associated party commercial deals. Since the ban has been lifted, Newcastle have agreed lucrative commercial deals with PIF-linked companies such as Noon, Sela and Saudia. New, more stringent, rules will see any future associated party commercial deals come under more scrutiny in relation to the Fair Market Value assessment. 

Chelsea have been amongst the biggest spenders in the league in the last two years under the ownership of Todd Boehly.  The American has reportedly held talks with Saudi Pro League director of football Michael Emenalo, which has prompted speculation of further player sales to Saudi in the summer after the departures of N’Golo Kante, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly last summer.

Chelsea have announced pre-tax losses of £90.1million in their latest accounts with significant investment being made since Boehly's acquisition of the club back in 2022. On the field, Chelsea failed to qualify for Europe entirely last season and finished the campaign in 12th - their lowest finish since 1996.

This season, despite their recent victory at Newcastle, they have made very minor improvements on the pitch. They reached the cup final of the Carabao Cup, but still find themselves in 11th position, four points behind West Ham in the Europa Conference League position, albeit with one game in hand still to play.

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