The Saudi Pro League (SPL) made a splash in football this summer with an £800m spending spree, second only to the Premier League’s £2.4bn. But what lies beneath this spending, and what challenges loom?
- Top Foreign Stars: the SPL now ranks 6th globally for the quality of its 50 best foreign players, trailing only the ‘big 5’ European leagues.
- Challenges of Declining Players: our player projections show that the SPL’s top 50 foreign players are expected to fall in value by 31% in the next two years, compared to 12% in Europe’s ‘big 5’.
- Jeopardy requires competitive balance: PIF-owned teams are now on average heavy 74% favourites to win against non-PIF owned teams, up 6% on last season. Fans crave suspense and the possibility of upsets, both of which become scarce if this gap continues to grow.