According to one of the league’s most senior administrators, the Saudi Professional Football League is “determined to be a success” and will continue to “splash the cash” in order to entice some of the most recognizable names in football.
Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson, and Sadio Mane are just some of the worldwide players who have followed in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps to sign with clubs in the oil-rich Gulf state.
In the previous month, Al-Hilal made an offer of 300 million euros (about 328 million dollars) for Kylian Mbappe; however, the striker for Paris Saint-Germain allegedly declined to meet with representatives from the club.
The inflow occurred despite the regular allegation that Saudi Arabia’s excessive expenditure is a kind of “sportswashing,” which is an effort to divert attention from the country’s record on human rights.
Peter Hutton, a British director who is also a member of the board of directors for the league, said the following to the BBC: “I think the budgets are in place for a number of years — you know, I don’t see this slowing down.”
He continued by saying, “I’ve worked in sports for 40 years, and I’ve never seen a project that was as big, as ambitious, and as determined to be a success.”
Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City, said that the Saudi league has “completely changed the market,” and he anticipates the movement of other high-profile players to the region.
The manager of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, is concerned that the late closing of the transfer window in a Middle Eastern country might have a negative impact on teams in Europe.
On the other hand, Hutton said, “I would argue that’s not always a negative thing. It’s fantastic that football is so popular in so many different countries.