Home Sports Saudi Pro League: Signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Jordan Henderson, and Karim Benzema is just the beginning

Saudi Pro League: Signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Jordan Henderson, and Karim Benzema is just the beginning


Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to the Saudi Pro League from Manchester United has sparked a significant spending spree in the league, and according to a prominent executive, this trend is expected to continue.

British director Peter Hutton, a member of the league’s board and with extensive experience in sports media, believes that the budgets in place indicate a sustained commitment to investment in top players for the foreseeable future. Since Ronaldo’s arrival, the SPL has successfully attracted other football icons, including Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, Jordan Henderson from Liverpool, and established players from clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, and Bayern Munich.

The league’s ambitious approach has also been evident in Al-Hilal’s record-breaking bid of £259 million for Paris St-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe last month. Hutton described the project as unprecedented in his 40 years of working in sports, noting its determination to achieve success.

Regarding the impact on European football, Hutton stated that it might not necessarily be a negative development if the European clubs were not as dominant as before. He emphasized that the Saudi Pro League’s spending is substantial but still a fraction of what Premier League clubs have invested during the summer transfer window.

As per Transfermarkt, SPL clubs have spent a total of 409 million euros (£352 million) in the current summer transfer window, making it the fifth-highest spending league globally, surpassing Spain’s La Liga’s total of 254 million euros (£218 million). However, the Premier League remains the frontrunner, leading with a whopping 1.37 billion euros (£1.17 billion) spent.

Hutton acknowledged the significant impact of the SPL’s investment on the football transfer market, with influential figures like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp expressing their thoughts on the league’s financial power. Despite the growth of the SPL, Hutton believes it could coexist with European football and contribute to the strength and global appeal of the sport.

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