Premier League clubs have claimed that the Allan Saint-Maximin transfer fee has been artificially inflated.
The Newcastle United player in the process of seemingly set to join Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli.
The ever reliable David Ornstein of The Athletic says that the unnamed clubs are going to formally take their ‘concerns’ to the Premier League about the imminent transfer.
The man from The Athletic quotes £30m as the reported fee that Al-Ahli are going to pay Newcastle United and which the Premier League clubs are set to object to.
Elsewhere, the transfer fee has been quoted even lower, I have seen any number of reports putting it as low as £25m.
Even if it is the higher £30m figure that proves to be the true one, I think a lot of Newcastle United fans would be left scratching their heads.
If at any time in these past four years, any club had paid £30m for Allan Saint-Maximin, not a single person would have said Newcastle United have got a great deal, indeed quite the opposite for most neutrals I think.
Even with a relatively disappointing 2022/23 season, partly due to injury, the market value of ASM is still surely a minimum of £30m.
This transfer window is looking like potentially the biggest ever in terms of spending by Premier League clubs and flair players such as Allan Saint-Maximin are at a premium. Though quite understandable if Newcastle United were only selling if it was a non-Premier League club, to avoid the chance of the deal coming back to haunt them.
Hand on heart, if somebody ahead of this transfer window had told me that Allan Saint-Maximin was definitely going to be sold, I would have assumed he’d go for around £40m.
The Premier League clubs are said to be objecting based on the PL regulations that dictate that all related party transactions above the cost of £1m are now checked to make sure that they do not exceed “market value.”
With Al-Ahli one of four Saudi clubs that are now 75% owned by the Saudi Arabia PIF. Newcastle United of course owned 80% by Saudi Arabia PIF.
The supposed belief that Newcastle United / Saudi Arabia PIF are using an inflated ASM transfer fee to especially help deal with FFP restrictions.
Quite ironic of course if one or more of these Premier League clubs complaining, are also ones who have already benefited from the Saudi Pro League spending spree, which has generally seen players at the very end of their careers attracting seemingly higher than what you’d expect transfer fees as they go for one last massive pay day.
Allan Saint-Maximin on the other hand is only 26 and surely worth every penny of any £25m-£30m transfer fee. Indeed, if he stars in the Saudi Pro League, I wouldn’t be surprised that next summer ASM could then move back to the Premier League or another major European league for a figure significantly higher than £30m.