Saudi League thread

tomaldinho1

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I get a sneaky feeling that the Saudis will float the idea of a Longer format club world cup - similar to what clubs tried with the Super league BS.


Other than the PL, all other leagues seem to be suffering in terms of viewership and outside the likes of Madrid and Bayern, most teams seem to suffering from lack of money too.
I think their idea will be quite simple - basically propose a new ESL style competition which includes their 4 teams and then financially incentivise financially struggling clubs to join. They will have almost no resistance from Serie A teams, Liga NOS and even some La Liga teams who can see how unsustainable/impossible it is to compete with what the PL has become. It's just LIV golf all over again. Then you merge and revert back to the original CL but with a large % of ownership and if they can get their teams into the CL, that is an added bonus.
 

Ghostrider318

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I think their idea will be quite simple - basically propose a new ESL style competition which includes their 4 teams and then financially incentivise financially struggling clubs to join. They will have almost no resistance from Serie A teams, Liga NOS and even some La Liga teams who can see how unsustainable/impossible it is to compete with what the PL has become. It's just LIV golf all over again. Then you merge and revert back to the original CL but with a large % of ownership and if they can get their teams into the CL, that is an added bonus.
Yeah thats what I was thinking as well. Newcastle is already hosting the Saudi National Team soon, I can see them hosting more friendlies with the Saudi league big names to wow the local crowd with the likes of Ronaldo and Neymar
 

redshaw

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Worth taking a look at what Michael Emenalo (Saudi league DOF) and others are saying
https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...-it-will-soon-be-for-exceptional-players-only

“I would love to have Kylian Mbappé here,” he said. “I would love to have Harry Kane here. The league would like to have all the top players. And I think it is something that will be at the heart of this strategy. In a couple of years, in a few short years, this will become a league for exceptional players only.

Carlo Nohra, the chief operating officer of the Saudi Pro League, said the target was for football to become a “net contributor to GDP and not costing the country money”. He also said the long-term strategy involved teams from the league playing competitive matches against the biggest clubs from the rest of the world.


Won't be long that there's a tipping point and it will become the place to be. We've already seen how quickly you can transform clubs like city and PSG so I don't think the names, history and prestige hold much water compared to money and increasingly where the best players are.

Makes you wonder how good an investment is paying £6bn for United. Perhaps we can be part of a very lucrative world comp or Euro Asia comp or will clubs not in European capitals or even Europe as a whole struggle. A Euro Super league could come in but I just don't see it being that attractive or be able to generate enough to compete money wise. It's tax free money in Saudi as well.
 
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Ragnar123

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Carlo Nohra, the chief operating officer of the Saudi Pro League, said the target was for football to become a “net contributor to GDP and not costing the country money”.
And how exactly they want to achieve that? Even the most popular teams with the best sponsor deals couldn't afford those salaries they pay already and they want many more players. So how exactly they want to continue paying those salaries and make a profit with football at the same time? They think tourists from all over the world will travel to watch their league?
It will never work. Empty talk in my opinion.
 

adexkola

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Worth taking a look at what Michael Emenalo (Saudi league DOF) and others are saying
https://www.theguardian.com/footbal...-it-will-soon-be-for-exceptional-players-only

“I would love to have Kylian Mbappé here,” he said. “I would love to have Harry Kane here. The league would like to have all the top players. And I think it is something that will be at the heart of this strategy. In a couple of years, in a few short years, this will become a league for exceptional players only.

Carlo Nohra, the chief operating officer of the Saudi Pro League, said the target was for football to become a “net contributor to GDP and not costing the country money”. He also said the long-term strategy involved teams from the league playing competitive matches against the biggest clubs from the rest of the world.


Won't be long that there's a tipping point and it will become the place to be. We've already seen how quickly you can transform clubs like city and PSG so I don't think the names, history and prestige hold much water compared to money and increasingly where the best players are.

Makes you wonder how good an investment is paying £6bn for United. Perhaps we can be part of a very lucrative world comp or Euro Asia comp or will clubs not in European capitals or even Europe as a whole struggle. A Euro Super league could come in but I just don't see it being that attractive or be able to generate enough to compete money wise. It's tax free money in Saudi as well.
Had no idea Emenalo was over in Saudi Arabia, IIRC he was Chelsea's DoF for a good while.
 

André Dominguez

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But unless they change the rules to play 11 foreign players, the average saudi player is still not competitive enough. There's still a lot of grass roots work to do.
 

maniak

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After the discussion I had with some here a couple of weeks back, I'd like to know what do you say about some players having in their contracts payments for social media posts promoting saudi arabia. What a surprise, it's not just about football, but promoting saudi arabia...
 

rcoobc

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They have too many teams. Can't have 18 teams full of Ronaldos. If they reduced it to like 8 teams they could probably have the strongest League in the world.

In other news, let's stop oil
 

André Dominguez

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Otávio signs for for Al Nassr for 60M€ from Porto. Well, can't blame him because the alternative would be signing for Aston Villa :angel:
 

morisjee

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Recently I happened to come across something very strange while looking at the Khaleej vs Al-Ahli lineup and wanting to examine the Khaleej players more closely on "Transfermarkt". I have noticed that almost the entire starting XI was signed in this transfer window and all were provided with ONLY 1 year contracts.

The only explanation I can come up with is that they're just there to get through this season before replacing them with top European players next season.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were other SPL clubs with similarly strange contracts alongside Khaleej.

Officially only 4 clubs belong to the PIF, but I believe that the others will also be massively upgraded.

See Gerrard and Henderson's Ettifaq. What normal clubs can afford such salaries? Henderson would be the top earner in Europe after Mbappe.

In the top 4, the squad is more or less in place. The 8 slots have all been used up. What do they want to improve there? Only al-Ittihad could make 1 or 2 more king transfers.

As I said last time, I believe that from next season the lower clubs will be taken care of. I think after 2-3 transfer windows the density of the league will far exceed that of the EPL.
 

MegadrivePerson

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A few rumours today that Al Ittihad are in preliminary negotiations with Manchester United for Raphael Varane....
 

Lee565

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Do these players not feel any shame in taking money from mass murdering human rights oppressors seeing is the league is state funded by the same people
 

NYAS

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Recently I happened to come across something very strange while looking at the Khaleej vs Al-Ahli lineup and wanting to examine the Khaleej players more closely on "Transfermarkt". I have noticed that almost the entire starting XI was signed in this transfer window and all were provided with ONLY 1 year contracts.

The only explanation I can come up with is that they're just there to get through this season before replacing them with top European players next season.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were other SPL clubs with similarly strange contracts alongside Khaleej.

Officially only 4 clubs belong to the PIF, but I believe that the others will also be massively upgraded.

See Gerrard and Henderson's Ettifaq. What normal clubs can afford such salaries? Henderson would be the top earner in Europe after Mbappe.

In the top 4, the squad is more or less in place. The 8 slots have all been used up. What do they want to improve there? Only al-Ittihad could make 1 or 2 more king transfers.

As I said last time, I believe that from next season the lower clubs will be taken care of. I think after 2-3 transfer windows the density of the league will far exceed that of the EPL.
Most of the foreigners who were at the big Saudi clubs before this summer, are being moved to the smaller clubs on the same wages in order to honour the contract, to make room for the bigger signings. They are serious about the 8 foreigner quota.
 

Pintu

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Do these players not feel any shame in taking money from mass murdering human rights oppressors seeing is the league is state funded by the same people
Ask the player taking money from the same regimes in order to play for Chelsea (since 2003), N’Castle or Man City ?
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

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I wonder how long it will take for the Saudi league to become the best league in the world, in terms of player quality?
 

Port Vale Devil

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I wonder how long it will take for the Saudi league to become the best league in the world, in terms of player quality?

It will never happen, they may get some of the best players in the world to play in the desert for money but football is also about history, rivalries and the fans. They may be able to have the pick of players but if they want to grow and play against historic European sides they will have to abide by rules and nobody will pick going to Saudi over a European team if/when the Saudi’s have some financial restraints put upon them.
 

Spiersey

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Recently I happened to come across something very strange while looking at the Khaleej vs Al-Ahli lineup and wanting to examine the Khaleej players more closely on "Transfermarkt". I have noticed that almost the entire starting XI was signed in this transfer window and all were provided with ONLY 1 year contracts.

The only explanation I can come up with is that they're just there to get through this season before replacing them with top European players next season.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were other SPL clubs with similarly strange contracts alongside Khaleej.

Officially only 4 clubs belong to the PIF, but I believe that the others will also be massively upgraded.

See Gerrard and Henderson's Ettifaq. What normal clubs can afford such salaries? Henderson would be the top earner in Europe after Mbappe.

In the top 4, the squad is more or less in place. The 8 slots have all been used up. What do they want to improve there? Only al-Ittihad could make 1 or 2 more king transfers.

As I said last time, I believe that from next season the lower clubs will be taken care of. I think after 2-3 transfer windows the density of the league will far exceed that of the EPL.
Must have been a transfermarkt error. 5 of them were there before this season.

It’s pretty normal in Saudi though along with other Arab countries. There’s a pretty high turnover of foreigners. Khaleej are a small club. If they sign a foreign who’s good, he won’t be there long. A big club comes in for them pretty quickly. Likewise, if they’re not good, they’ll be dropped quickly as there’s a limit to how many foreigns they’re allowed.

Similar scenario with the locals. If the smaller clubs get good locals, they’ll be poached by the bigger Saudi clubs pretty quickly.

Also, Arab clubs are ruthless with the foreign slots. They’ll just remove players mid season from their squad to make space for a new signing. Happened loads over the last couple of years and it’ll probably get even more ruthless now if big names appear.

I think you’re right about the other clubs getting funding though. I have zero clue who is paying Ettifaq’s wages. It’s either money from PIF unofficially, or some extremely rich individual who is happy to pay Henderson £700k a week.
 

padr81

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Aymeric Laporte off their for £25m if rumours are true.
 

morisjee

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The UEFA clubs remind me more and more of the NATO countries. Unfortunately just as hypocritical. Always raid and exploit smaller ones. But when someone else comes along and tries it on them, it's easy to panic, want to change the rules, and do whatever it takes to stop this "destruction." You think you're at war. The propaganda is also the same. Your losses are constantly being downplayed, while the enemy will never have a chance to succeed and will eventually collapse.

One should take it easy and accept that the Saudis have now entered the football market. And if they mean business (which they likely will at least until 2030), no league in the world will be able to stand in their way, let alone clubs.

The power of the petrodollar is tremendous. Even world powers orientate themselves on him. It has brought down some and has the potential to bring down more. Better not to declare war on them. That has already cost Barca their heads in the case of Verratti. And that was just PSG.
 

André Dominguez

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So... Al Ittihad spent 30M€ on Jota and they are considering releasing him on a free transfer because they want to hire a better foreign player :lol:
 

Spiersey

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So... Al Ittihad spent 30M€ on Jota and they are considering releasing him on a free transfer because they want to hire a better foreign player :lol:
It's been common practice in Asia for years to freeze out/banish foreign players due to the cap. Hilal have done it to a few mid season due to being able to sign better foreigns, it's something that has always happened and is normal for Asian leagues. This one is more ridiculous though because they paid a decent fee. I would imagine when they signed Jota, they didn't realise quite how many high level players they'd be able to attract. If Salah is a genuine option, they'd be stupid to not go for him because they have Jota.
 

André Dominguez

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It's been common practice in Asia for years to freeze out/banish foreign players due to the cap. Hilal have done it to a few mid season due to being able to sign better foreigns, it's something that has always happened and is normal for Asian leagues. This one is more ridiculous though because they paid a decent fee. I would imagine when they signed Jota, they didn't realise quite how many high level players they'd be able to attract. If Salah is a genuine option, they'd be stupid to not go for him because they have Jota.
I know it's a common thing to release foreign players, it also happens in La Liga 1 and 2 in a smaller scale (it's the european league with more non-eu limitations). But the surprise here is that they had spent 30M and they will have to pay full contract wages to release him, which means he might get 50M (5 years contract, 10M per year). They will probably reach a midterm agreement though.
 

Acrobat7

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I know it's a common thing to release foreign players, it also happens in La Liga 1 and 2 in a smaller scale (it's the european league with more non-eu limitations). But the surprise here is that they had spent 30M and they will have to pay full contract wages to release him, which means he might get 50M (5 years contract, 10M per year). They will probably reach a midterm agreement though.
Money doesn‘t matter. If they want a new toy they just buy it.
 

RoyH1

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I wonder how long it will take for the Saudi league to become the best league in the world, in terms of player quality?
They need a couple of seasons of getting the best players in the world under the age of 27 to play there. When the likes of Haaland, Mbappé, Vinicius, Kimmich and the like start leaving then it will have gotten serious,
 

morisjee

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"YES, BUT NO ONE WILL WATCH IT"!

A Saudi sports journalist on Twitter:

"The director of Saudi sports channels publishes for you the names of all international television channels that broadcast our league:

37 TV channels and platforms
750 million households in the world
162 countries around the world

These are shocking and frightening numbers that will soon increase."
(Unfortunately I can't post the link to the TV program)


At the latest after it became known that Iran, the absolute arch-enemy of the Saudis, had bought the rights to the SPL, this doesn't surprise me.
Because if the biggest enemy is interested in the SPL, what about others?

Interesting: Israel, which is actually considered a semi-ally of the Saudis, had also expressed interest.
The Saudis said: "Not even for all the money in the world. As long as religious extremists are in the government!"
 

RedRonaldo

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They need a couple of seasons of getting the best players in the world under the age of 27 to play there. When the likes of Haaland, Mbappé, Vinicius, Kimmich and the like start leaving then it will have gotten serious,
I think the Saudi league is just another way of heading into “Super league” format with all the money involved. Surely if they keep spending the money, maybe in couple of seasons they will get majority of star player playing in their league. Things could change really quick.
 

VP

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"YES, BUT NO ONE WILL WATCH IT"!

A Saudi sports journalist on Twitter:

"The director of Saudi sports channels publishes for you the names of all international television channels that broadcast our league:

37 TV channels and platforms
750 million households in the world
162 countries around the world

These are shocking and frightening numbers that will soon increase."
(Unfortunately I can't post the link to the TV program)


At the latest after it became known that Iran, the absolute arch-enemy of the Saudis, had bought the rights to the SPL, this doesn't surprise me.
Because if the biggest enemy is interested in the SPL, what about others?

Interesting: Israel, which is actually considered a semi-ally of the Saudis, had also expressed interest.
The Saudis said: "Not even for all the money in the world. As long as religious extremists are in the government!"
Pity no one is watching it in Saudi Arabia itself. Average attendance of 5,300 this weekend. That's less than League 2.
 

jadaba

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"YES, BUT NO ONE WILL WATCH IT"!

A Saudi sports journalist on Twitter:

"The director of Saudi sports channels publishes for you the names of all international television channels that broadcast our league:

37 TV channels and platforms
750 million households in the world
162 countries around the world

These are shocking and frightening numbers that will soon increase."
(Unfortunately I can't post the link to the TV program)


At the latest after it became known that Iran, the absolute arch-enemy of the Saudis, had bought the rights to the SPL, this doesn't surprise me.
Because if the biggest enemy is interested in the SPL, what about others?

Interesting: Israel, which is actually considered a semi-ally of the Saudis, had also expressed interest.
The Saudis said: "Not even for all the money in the world. As long as religious extremists are in the government!"
I realise most people on here will be sensible enough to disregard the unsourced propaganda spewed over here, but in case anyone is curious to see a link, this is the original dodgy post by the 'Saudi sports journalist':


The tweet is in Arabic but translates word-for-word to what's posted above, and is the earliest version of the post anywhere on Twitter. For an idea of reliability of this source, the account's pinned post is a link to buy a discounted room freshener.

Meanwhile, reliable sources [The National, a UAE publication] writing on the SPL's TV deals show that the 23/24 season will be broadcast by 25 television platforms to 130 countries, a drop on last season's deals which saw the SPL air on 48 platforms across 170 countries.

Equally, an article published this morning by Bloomberg paints a more realistic picture of the SPL's viewership, noting that the average Saudi stadium attendance (as @VP remarks) is comically low, and that the total revenue from TV deals for the season is expected to be $2.8 million (compare that to the Premier League's $4 billion).

If it's being watched by 750 million households but only making $2.8m, then they're either getting an extremely poor deal, or the numbers are entirely made up. For reference, according to The Times, the Premier League is estimated to be watched by up to 900 million households.

It's likely that you'll continue to share exaggerated propaganda posts, but please at least add the link to the claims you're referencing so that those who wish to apply basic critical thought rather than regurgitating big numbers can do so.
 

Acrobat7

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It's likely that you'll continue to share exaggerated propaganda posts, but please at least add the link to the claims you're referencing so that those who wish to apply basic critical thought rather than regurgitating big numbers can do so.
I think they might be gone...
 

morisjee

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I realise most people on here will be sensible enough to disregard the unsourced propaganda spewed over here, but in case anyone is curious to see a link, this is the original dodgy post by the 'Saudi sports journalist':



The tweet is in Arabic but translates word-for-word to what's posted above, and is the earliest version of the post anywhere on Twitter. For an idea of reliability of this source, the account's pinned post is a link to buy a discounted room freshener.

Meanwhile, reliable sources [The National, a UAE publication] writing on the SPL's TV deals show that the 23/24 season will be broadcast by 25 television platforms to 130 countries, a drop on last season's deals which saw the SPL air on 48 platforms across 170 countries.

Equally, an article published this morning by Bloomberg paints a more realistic picture of the SPL's viewership, noting that the average Saudi stadium attendance (as @VP remarks) is comically low, and that the total revenue from TV deals for the season is expected to be $2.8 million (compare that to the Premier League's $4 billion).

If it's being watched by 750 million households but only making $2.8m, then they're either getting an extremely poor deal, or the numbers are entirely made up. For reference, according to The Times, the Premier League is estimated to be watched by up to 900 million households.

It's likely that you'll continue to share exaggerated propaganda posts, but please at least add the link to the claims you're referencing so that those who wish to apply basic critical thought rather than regurgitating big numbers can do so.

How can there be a decline in television platforms when the SPL is now broadcast even in America and almost all countries in Europe?
That wasn't the case before. This is particularly proven by countries like Iran and Israel's interest.

I can't say how reliable your numbers are. But even if we say that the SPL has no TV income at all - I don't see a problem with that.
1. They don't depend on it at all. 2. There are certainly strategic reasons.

I don't know what it's like here, but in Germany, for example, Netflix and DAZN were initially free or for a few coins.
You used to be able to see everything on Sky. Then came DAZN. And you had to take out two subscriptions for all games and all goals.

It will be no different here. If you want to see all the games, all the stars of top football, you will soon have to subscribe to the Saudi League too.

You can twist and turn it however you want, but the fact is that the 250 best footballers in the world will soon be divided into SPL and UEFA.
We can ignore it, but this will cause massive damage to UEFA and will also have a major impact on its revenue.
As I said the other day, it's exactly the same game as golf. In the end you will be forced to work together.
Nobody seriously believes that things will work without the Saudis.

Edit: I have blocked the user "Acrobat". I don't have to put up with his constant insults, off-topics and taunts. If the admins don't want to do anything about it.
 
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Ragnar123

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Just read that Al-Hilal drew yesterday in the Asia CL against Namangan Navbahor, some Uzbekistan side 1:1 (scored in the 90+10th minute). Al-Hilal played with Neymar, Malcom, Mitrovic and Neves :lol:
 

Lay

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Just read that Al-Hilal drew yesterday in the Asia CL against Namangan Navbahor, some Uzbekistan side 1:1 (scored in the 90+10th minute). Al-Hilal played with Neymar, Malcom, Mitrovic and Neves :lol:
Fun fact, Kanchelskis used to manage Navbahor.
 

jadaba

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How can there be a decline in television platforms when the SPL is now broadcast even in America and almost all countries in Europe?
That wasn't the case before. This is particularly proven by countries like Iran and Israel's interest.

I can't say how reliable your numbers are. But even if we say that the SPL has no TV income at all - I don't see a problem with that.
1. They don't depend on it at all. 2. There are certainly strategic reasons.

I don't know what it's like here, but in Germany, for example, Netflix and DAZN were initially free or for a few coins.
You used to be able to see everything on Sky. Then came DAZN. And you had to take out two subscriptions for all games and all goals.

It will be no different here. If you want to see all the games, all the stars of top football, you will soon have to subscribe to the Saudi League too.

You can twist and turn it however you want, but the fact is that the 250 best footballers in the world will soon be divided into SPL and UEFA.
We can ignore it, but this will cause massive damage to UEFA and will also have a major impact on its revenue.
As I said the other day, it's exactly the same game as golf. In the end you will be forced to work together.
Nobody seriously believes that things will work without the Saudis.

Edit: I have blocked the user "Acrobat". I don't have to put up with his constant insults, off-topics and taunts. If the admins don't want to do anything about it.
So, Bloomberg, The Times, and The National must be questioned as possibly providing unreliable numbers, but an anonymous account on Twitter (that you didn't even provide a link to) should be accepted as gospel? You're free to take that approach but you should accept that people won't take your arguments seriously.
 

tomaldinho1

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And how exactly they want to achieve that? Even the most popular teams with the best sponsor deals couldn't afford those salaries they pay already and they want many more players. So how exactly they want to continue paying those salaries and make a profit with football at the same time? They think tourists from all over the world will travel to watch their league?
It will never work. Empty talk in my opinion.
PL tv rights alone breached £10b last year, it was the first time the overseas rights (£5.3b) overtook the domestic rights (£5.1b). That should give you an idea of the scale of upside there is in football when you think of how small the domestic market is compared to a potential global audience.

They could have empty stadiums and it wouldn’t matter if they manage to attract the best players.