The summer transfer window in Europe opened on June 14, and the trend has been that Saudi Arabian clubs are sweeping away big names from Europe.
Before this transfer window, football fanatics rarely knew about teams like Al-Nassr, and Al Hilal, but the scenario changed once Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr, while Al Hilal almost signed Lionel Messi for a whopping $25 million offer.
Ever since Ronaldo’s transfer, several clubs roped in the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Eduard Mendy, Koulibaly, Roberto Firmino, and many more big players will arrive till the window closes.
The current wave of players moving to Saudi reminds the fans of the time when Chinese clubs bought players for big money, but even those clubs could not lure such big names to join their leagues as the Saudis have. Even the top European leagues are scared of their viewership and media rights.
But why are Saudi clubs investing so much in these players? Where is the money coming from? Here is why Saudi Arabia is buying every big European player.
Firstly, the Saudi government wants football to develop in their country, which is why they are now privatizing their football clubs, which explains the recent investments.
Recently, The Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns stakes in Newcastle, bought 75% stakes in Al Nassr, Al Hilal, Al Ahli, and Al Itiihad, which is why these clubs could lure big players with whopping salaries.
Secondly, there is no financial fair play rule in the Saudi League which restricts the European Leagues to spend uncontrollable money on players. The Saudi league can throw big bucks for any player and target athletes in their early or mid-thirties who could not reject such massive offers toward the late end of their careers.
By signing big names, the league has made a name for itself, and it is for sure that from the upcoming season, they will fetch huge media rights from broadcasters across the globe, making their league richer. At present, no Indian platform streams the Saudi Pro League, but the fans can see their favourite stars in action next season.
The third and final aim of the club owners is to make the league one of the best in the world. Presently, they are ranked even below the Indian Super League (ISL) according to several fans-surveyed websites.