Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has disclosed it will claim responsibility of the gulf country’s four biggest football teams.
The government of Saudi Arabia has decided to invest €20 billion into the development of the Saudi Pro League clubs.
The investment was done to attract many “very big names” and give credibility to the Saudi Pro League.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which owns an 80% stake in Newcastle United will take ownership of a quartet of Saudi clubs namely; Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal.
Cristiano Ronaldo made a move to Saudi Arabia in January following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan in November.
After Ronaldo and Manchester United mutually agreed to cut the ties between them, the Portuguese penned a staggering £173 million a year deal with the club.
His contract runs until 2025 and Saudi Arabia can truly beat their chest to say the experiment of bringing arguably the greatest player of all time to the middle east has yielded positive results.
Lionel Messi has also attracted the interest of Al Hilal and coupled with him being a tourism ambassador of Saudi Arabia, he might just be heading to the middle east.
It has been reported that Al Hilal have tabled a staggering offer worth £320 million a year for the Argentine.
Al-Ittihad recently lifted Saudi Pro League title and they have reportedly acquired the services of Karim Benzema.
This certainly shows the level of project Saudi Arabia are looking to actualise and the goals they are targeting.
For Al-Ahli, they just gained promotion back to the Pro League from the lower division.
The announcement on Monday said that the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will be in control of 75% of each teams.
They will also set up not-for-profit foundations which would bring onboard existing members of the club.
The Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will select five board members for each of the four clubs.
While the general assembly of the not-for-profit foundations will select the other two, including the club president.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund statement revealing the information
An official communique released by the PIF via Twitter reads: “As part of today’s announcement of the Sport Clubs Investment and Privatisation Project, four Saudi clubs – Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr and Al Hilal – have been transformed into companies, each of which is owned by PIF and non-profit foundations for each club.”
The PIF added: “PIF’s ownership in the clubs’ companies represent 75 per cent in each club, while their respective non-profit foundations hold 25 per cent ownership of each club.”
The Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund also expressed that this move will bring to the fore many commercial opportunities.
They wrote: “The transfer of the four clubs will unleash various commercial opportunities, including investment, partnership and sponsorships across numerous sports.”
Portuguese great Cristiano Ronaldo netted 14 goals in 16 league matches, however, he couldn’t guide the club to the Saudi Pro League title.
Al Ittihad won the 2022/23 Saudi Pro League title
They ended the season five points behind eventual winners Al Ittihad who have started doing some smart business ahead of next season.
Karim Benzema would also apparently earn a staggering salary at Al Ittihad with the Frenchman reportedly putting pen-to-paper on a two year deal worth about £345 million.
Al Ittihad’s head coach is former Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund led the consortium that acquired Newcastle United from Mike Ashley in 2021.
Newcastle United was bought for £305 million by the consortium and the club has seen a significant rise since the acquisition.
The Magpies qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
They also almost won a silverware this campaign as they made it to the final of the Carabao Cup losing 2-0 to Manchester United.
The English Premier League sanctioned the takeover after getting “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the team.
This was done in spite of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, being named as the chairman of the Public Investment Fund.