Saudi national team beats UAE to win Arab Diar Championship

RIYADH: The Ministry of Sports of Saudi Arabia has launched the latest phase of the Sports Club Investment and Privatization Project to privatize 14 more clubs.

Launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last June, the project, launched in collaboration with the National Center for Privatization, aims to accelerate the sports industry in the Kingdom by inviting the business sector to get involved in clubs.

Six additional clubs are now available for privatization starting in August: Al-Zulfi, Al-Nahda, Al-Okhdood, Al-Ansar, Al-Orouba and Al-Kholoud. Clubs are selected based on their operational readiness, financial health, administrative capabilities and athletic facilities.

An additional eight clubs — Al-Shoalah, Hajar, Al-Najmah, Al-Riiadh, Al-Ravdhah, Jeddah, Al-Taraji and Al-Sahel — will also be up for privatization at a later stage.

Following the successful privatization of Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad during the first phase, the project has now progressed to the second phase.

As part of the commitment to accelerate the transformation of the sports sector, the project seeks to improve the administrative and financial management of clubs, creating new opportunities for sports investment in the country to, among other things, develop club infrastructure. This, in turn, will elevate the fan experience to a new level, the ministry said in a statement.

The Roshn Saudi League has shown a significant increase in commercial revenue compared to last season following the privatization of the clubs, with the goal of potentially reaching an annual total of 1.8 billion Saudi riyals ($479,819).

With more than 80 percent of the population following, watching or playing soccer, the development of the league enhances the sports and entertainment experience for a large fan base. This progress raises the bar for clubs in the league, encouraging them to invest in facilities and stadiums.

With the help of the ministry, Al-Fateh, Al-Ettifaq, Al-Taavoun, Al-Shabab and Al-Hilal moved to their home stadiums during the 2023-24 season.

The project of investing and privatizing sports clubs operates through two basic tracks. The first involves allowing businesses and development organizations to invest in sports teams in exchange for transferring ownership. The second involves the offer of publicly owned sports clubs for privatization. Investors interested in participating in this project can visit the ministry’s website for application details and additional information.

Leave a Comment