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Manchester United show Newcastle United way to get around related party sponsorship restrictions

1 month ago
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Manchester United, along with 17 other Premier League clubs, voted to bring in new restrictions on related party sponsorship deals.

The virtual meeting of clubs on Tuesday, seeing the new rules come in, despite the objections of Newcastle United and Manchester City.

Those two clubs widely reported to be the only ones to vote against the new regulations.

The pair of them considering the new rules to be anti-competitive and open to conflicts of interest.

Both Manchester City and Newcastle United said to be consulting their legal teams for a potential challenge to the validity of the new rules.

However, even if these new rules do stick, with the other Premier League clubs able to have an ‘independent’ company deciding just how much Newcastle United should be allowed to bank on any particular deal, there is still one major flaw in their plan as I see it.

The new rules see to limit the size of commercial deals.

However, they don’t limit the number of deals that could potentially be signed…

Just have a look at this little list of some(!) of the Manchester United commercial deals:

GULF OIL INTERNATIONAL – Official Global Lubricant Partner and Fuel Retail Partner of Manchester United

AEROFLOT – Official Carrier of Manchester United

APOLLO TYRES – Official Tyre Partner of Manchester United

CANON MEDICAL SYSTEMS – Official Medical Systems Partner of Manchester United

CASILLERO DEL DIABLO – Official Wine Partner of Manchester United

CHEVROLET – Official Global Partner of Manchester United

CHIVAS – Official Spirits Partner of Manchester United

DHL – Official Logistics Partner of Manchester United

CADBURY – Official Partner of Manchester United

KOHLER – Principal Partner of Manchester United

TEAMVIEWER – Principal Partner of Manchester United

ECOLAB – Official Global Partner of Manchester United

HCL – Official Digital Transformation Partner of Manchester United

KONAMI – Official Gaming Partner of Manchester United

MAUI JIM – Official Vision Partner of Manchester United

MARRIOTT HOTELS – Official Hotel Partner of Manchester United

MELITTA – Official Coffee Partner of Manchester United

MLILY – Official Global Mattress and Pillow Partner of Manchester United

REMINGTON – Official Electrical Styling Partner of Manchester United

TAG HEUER – Official Timekeeper and Global Watch Partner of Manchester United

VISIT MALTA – Official Global Partner of Manchester United

Official pillow partner?

Official coffee partner?

Official lubricant partner?

Official wine, tyres, spirits, electrical styling…you name it.

Of course it would be far easier if the Newcastle United owners had immediately been able to maximise main sponsorship deals, such as Man City have with Etihad etc.

However, I think the Premier League have simply opened up a massive can of worms.

When you look at all of those Manchester United deals, they are only scratching the surface, the list above not even including the very lucrative commercial deals they have with Saudi Arabia.

Where there is a will there is a way.

Look at Everton, the owners there arranging a lucrative sponsorship deal for the training ground, plus astonishingly, allowed to bring in £30m on a deal that gives first refusal on naming rights for their new stadium. A stadium that might never even get built and at the very least, just gives them first refusal on ‘agreeing’ a deal to sponsor the new stadium, the £30m NOT for actually sponsoring the new planned ground.

I look forward to the day when Newcastle United have their very own Saudi (or from elsewhere…) lubricant and pillow partners.

As for who will be the official Camel supplier, I’m sure we will see fierce competition on that particular deal.

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