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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Saudi Arabia’s Spending Power On Display In Transfer Market

  • Saudi Pro League clubs nearly spent $1 billion on transfers during the summer window.
  • Only the English Premier League spent more money on adding new players.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Saudi Pro League clubs spent nearly $1 billion on bringing new players to the competition in the recently concluded summer transfer window.

The $957 million spent by SPL clubs was a record for the league — more than any other except for the Premier League, which spent $1.39 billion, according to a new report from Deloitte. 

The SPL was responsible for almost half of overseas transfer fees received by EPL clubs, shelling out $312 million for players like Ruben Neve ($59 million), Aleksandar Mitrovic ($56 million), Fabinho ($50 million), and Riyad Mahrez ($37 million).

SPL clubs sent $148 million to Ligue 1, $122 million to Serie A, $116 million to La Liga, and $32 million to the Bundesliga.

Saudi Spending Just Getting Started

Saudi Arabia’s disruption of European soccer has been a major topic as new seasons began across the continent.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was particularly concerned with the SPL’s pursuit of his star player, Mohamed Salah. The attempts came shortly after Saudi club Al-Hilal paid $98.5 million to facilitate Neymar’s transfer from French side Paris Saint-Germain.

“The budgets are in place for a number of years,” SPL board member Peter Hutton said recently. “I don’t see this slowing down.”

Meanwhile, the SPL has been exploring potential paths to competing in the UEFA Champions League, and Saudi Arabia has asked European soccer leaders for assistance in the country’s bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

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