*** ----> Saudi Arabia advances privatization of Pro-League clubs | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Saudi Arabia advances privatization of Pro-League clubs

TDT | Manama

The Daily Tribune - www.newsofbahrain.com

Report by Hussain Almaskati

Saudi Arabia’s sports ministry has announced a major step towards privatizing its Pro-League clubs, inviting both local and international investors to take ownership of six clubs.

Al Okhdood, Al Orouba, and Al Kholoud are set to compete in the upcoming Pro League season among 18 teams.

Additionally, Al Zulfi, Al Nahda, and Al Ansar have been earmarked for privatization based on their operational readiness, financial stability, administrative capabilities, and sports facilities. This initiative follows Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) taking control of prominent clubs like Al Nassr and Al-Hilal last year.

The ministry plans to privatize a total of 14 clubs, including these six, with an aim to enhance commercial opportunities and boost revenue in the league.

Saudi Arabia aims to elevate the Pro-League into a top-ten global league by 2030, with an annual revenue target exceeding SR1.8 billion ($480 million) and a market value of at least SR8 billion ($2.13 billion).

This move aligns with preparations for hosting the 2034 World Cup, further enhancing the league’s international stature.

The privatization initiative offers two tracks for investors: ownership transfer with investment permits or complete team privatization.

The goal is to establish a sustainable professional football ecosystem independent of government funding, emphasizing infrastructure development and enhancing fan engagement.