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Bedour Ibrahim

The kingdom has bankrolled most of its own investments

Saudi Arabia Preparing New ‘Wave’ of Private Sports Investment

Saturday 09/March/2024 - 04:15 PM
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Saudi Arabia expects a fresh injection of private capital into its local football clubs as it works to open up to investors.

“We expect to have another wave of privatization coming up soon،” Vice Minister of Sport Bader Alkadi said at Bloomberg Power Players Jeddah، powered by Asharq. “That gives us opportunity to make the investment in sport a sustainable investment، an investment that gives us a return to reinvest.”

On a sports spending spree

The flurry of player transfers last year، which brought top football stars including Brazilian Neymar and French striker Karim Benzema to local Saudi clubs، is also likely to continue، Alkadi added. However، it is unclear whether they will be on the same scale.

Saudi Arabia and its sovereign wealth fund، the Public Investment Fund، have been on a sports spending spree in recent years as part of the country’s drive to diversify the economy، promote tourism and enhance quality of life. 

Bloomberg previously reported that Saudi Arabia was considering a push to attract more outside investors to bolster its top football competition. 

The kingdom has bankrolled most of its own investments and initiatives thus far، but is seeking more private capital، not only just in sports but in its push for more tourists and its aim to build dozens of mega projects that will support Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 transformation agenda.

Amanda Staveley، CEO of PCP Capital Partners and co-owner with the PIF of English Premier League club Newcastle United، said she sees a “fantastic opportunity” to take a stake in a Saudi club.