Saudi league ‘bangs’ over 600 billion won this summer alone…’transfer market big five’
Saudi Arabian professional soccer, fueled by astronomical “oil money,” is making an impact on European soccer’s big leagues.
German media outlet TransferMarkt, which covers the European soccer transfer market, updated its ranking of league spending in this summer’s transfer window on its official social media accounts on Wednesday, commenting that Saudi professional soccer is already in the “top five” in the world. According to the data, Saudi Arabian professional football spent €424 million ($60.2 billion) in the summer transfer window, surpassing Spain’s Primera Liga (€254 million) for fifth place.
Saudi Arabian professional soccer has been on a star-studded hunt since the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United (Al-Nasr) late last year after the World Cup in Qatar. This summer’s transfer window alone has seen a number of high-profile signings, including last year’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante (Al Ittihad), Kalidou Koulibaly, Leo Neves (Al Hilal), and Roberto Firmino (Al Ahli).
Most of the rumored big-money transfers were also Saudi. Al-Hilal tried unsuccessfully to sign World Cup-winning Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) for an astronomical €400 million a year. Al-Hilal then made headlines by making a bid for Kylian Mbappe, the world’s most expensive soccer star, who is expected to part ways with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
If Saudi professional soccer is anything to go by, a leap into the world’s big two leagues is not out of the question. The English Premier League (€1.48 billion) tops the list by a wide margin, but the Italian Serie A (€549 million), French Ligue 1 (€490 million), and German Bundesliga (€451 million) are not far behind.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned that the financial power of the Saudi league has “changed the transfer market” and that “elite clubs need to be aware of what is happening.” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp also expressed concern about the late closure of the transfer market in Saudi Arabian professional soccer.스포츠토토
The BBC quoted Peter Hooton, a former English manager who sits on the board of directors of the Saudi Professional Football League, as saying that “the incredible spending in Saudi professional football will continue” and that “in my 40 years in football, I have never seen a project this big and this ambitious”.
Hooten added: “The game is now gaining international interest from broadcasters and increasing sponsorship. In the coming seasons, we’ll be able to see coverage in the UK,” says Hooton, “and in nine to ten years’ time, we can expect big revenues.”