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The Saudi Football Revolution

BenTal

Well-Known Member

Country: USA

Player:Zinchenko
Saudi league never becomes anything in the world. There is a simple reason for that.
You never visited there, and you don't know about the miserable weather there. There are other important factors playing against them as well. The UCL version in Asia sucks, the culture in middle east is not open to foreigners, and there are not many fun things to do there. Language barrier is another factor. Just look at the video of Gerrard.

I'm a middle eastern, and I grew up there. The region is cursed and I can't imagine long-time peace there 😢

If you ask me, it's just a waste money. WC was held in Qatar, and I don't think it helped them to attract more investors given all stories there.
 

db10_therza

🎵 Edu getting rickrolled 🎵
Trusted ⭐

Country: Bangladesh

Player:White
Saudi league never becomes anything in the world. There is a simple reason for that.
You never visited there, and you don't know about the miserable weather there. There are other important factors playing against them as well. The UCL version in Asia sucks, the culture in middle east is not open to foreigners, and there are not many fun things to do there. Language barrier is another factor. Just look at the video of Gerrard.

I'm a middle eastern, and I grew up there. The region is cursed and I can't imagine long-time peace there 😢

If you ask me, it's just a waste money. WC was held in Qatar, and I don't think it helped them to attract more investors given all stories there.

I agree with a lot of what you say, but not sure about some of it.

Part of Saudis game plan is to try and emulate the UAE which is obviously very open to foreigners and by most metrics is now a runaway success. You’ll see a lot of cultural changes along the way. Some people will like them, some won’t. Another part of it is to emulate Britain funnily enough, which exerts soft power all over the world via sports.

I have no idea if it will be a success. Until about 5 years ago I was convinced Dubai was doomed to fail but now it’s booming. It’s not to my taste but that isn’t really the objective criteria for success there.

Now here’s the unpleasant part of what I have to say:

I get that people are upset that a relative upstart is throwing it’s money around and destabilising things. I am too. But some of the criticism is way ott and I fear it’s a product of the usual “fear of unknown” (as opposed to straight up racism).

Firstly there seems to be some kind of double standards at work in that people are annoyed that Saudi is investing in say football clubs here or wherever. Armies of western private equity firms own the entire developing world. This point really doesn’t wash with me.

Saudi has money. It just is what it is. Their money is no more or no less dirty than any of tne western countries. In fact it’s probably a lot less dirty depending on how far back in history you wanna go. Up until recently they spent about zero on bettering the country and the royals kept it for themselves. Now they actually have a plan and are spending enormous amounts of money on it. Which is their right and no one should have an ideological problem with it. It’s much much better than what they used to do with it, which was to finance the most ridiculous lifestyles for themselves and all 8000 of their concubines or whatever. Whether the plan will work or not is a whole other thing.

There’s also people moaning about the society and the culture there etc. As someone who grew up in a completely different culture I both respect and like the fact that all cultures and values are not the same. That’s not to say that there should not be some common denominator across all societies, and Saudi obviously has ground to cover here. But there’s a chicken and egg thing in play. Seems to me like some people here want to basically lock them in a room until they reorganise themselves. That’s just not going to work. As the Saudis import football, and footballers and everything else that comes with it, they will also import values. That’s how you enact change. Not by a rifle, but through common interests. Now I’m not saying Henderson thought about all this, he went for the money 💯 , but I’d expect intelligent people to be able to think this through.

/rant
 

Mohamed7

Well-Known Member
What exactly is the issue if Saudi Arabia builds a top level league? I don’t understand the hate about this.

They clearly have a vision and strategies to achieve it. It is not just sports but in many industries in the country. Whether they will succeed or not depends on many variables but clearly not whether they will run out of money like China.

Personally, I believe they’re very much capable of reaching European level quality of football in 10-20 years. If you have the vision, the will, and the money rarely do people fail.

It is not like they need to spend forever to attract players. The more quality players they get the easier it gets. The beginning of something new is always hard. That being said, other aspects of the sports and the country has to improve in parallel and quickly.

Other than signing quality players and players development program, I have yet to read their other programs tackling other significant aspects of the game such as bringing more viewers to the league via digital streaming of matches. Fortunately, they don’t suffer from the old guards who are still operating like it’s the 90s like Sky, BBC, etc… fighting over for TV rights. It is about football moved from “TV” concept to online viewing one. Remove many old rules like matches moving for TV times, only limited number of matches shown live because of the small number of channels by the operators, 2pm-5pm no live matches shown in England, etc…

Another challenge for the Saudis will be the lack of quality regional cups like the European ones (i.e UCL). Although now might be too soon but I really believe, at some point in next 5 to 10 years, they will push to either join the European Cups or form a world club cups of some sort. The Asian CL will be too weak for them. They already reach finals before this initiative. It may seem far-fetched idea now and yes there’s a long way to go before that bridge but like @db10_therza said with money everything is possible.

Another point is the life and culture of the country. Before the current king and the prince, the country was extremely conservative. The prince started many initiatives to address this such as approving plans of building new “Dubais” in Saudi. Vision 2030. Bringing events and concerts to the existing cities. These are all part of Westernizing the kingdom to attract and retain the Westerners in Saudi.

All in all, it’s a huge and long term vision by the kingdom. It might fail for many reasons but could succeed if a lot aligned for them. Purely from project point view as well as my work background being around strategy creation, development, and implementation, I am extremely interested in how this progresses and routes taken . It’s bold. Let’s be open-minded of what others want to achieve. Less ridiculing, hating, etc…
 

Farzad Stoned

Self-appointed Deprogrammer for the Cult of Mik 🟥

Country: USA

Player:Havertz
Not the same thing. The Chinese government put a 100% tax on foreign transfers so more homegrown players would get a chance. The PIF have £650bn to play with and they’re trying to grow the game so they can host the WC in 2030 or 2034. They’re going to keep going.
Saudi has it’s own internal and financial problems they don’t have 650billion pounds or over a trillion earmarked for football I don’t care if they say it. These autocrats make grandiose pronouncements. Don’t get me wrong they got crazy money and would cheat to win and there can be no oversight so you know i am against their involvement
 
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Farzad Stoned

Self-appointed Deprogrammer for the Cult of Mik 🟥

Country: USA

Player:Havertz
The issue isn't the money.

Saudi Arabia can afford to keep paying and do it forever. And they will if they want.

But they players will eventually figure out that they can't afford to be out of the footballing limelight for other reasons.

The moment another winger from the French League gets called up ahead of someone like Moussa Diaby and he's told its because he's playing essentially semi-pro football in SA, he'll be trying to figure out a way back to Europe.

That's when the league will be left to those who want to cash in big cheques and forgo footballing pride, accolades and success, or players who aren't quite elite but of prime age will go.

But for now some of these young and talented players will be the Saudi Pro League and Agent guinea pigs to give this thing a test run.
Not only that they lose visibility and marketability. The biggest stars way more from endorsements than they ever make from base pay.
 

Farzad Stoned

Self-appointed Deprogrammer for the Cult of Mik 🟥

Country: USA

Player:Havertz
What exactly is the issue if Saudi Arabia builds a top level league? I don’t understand the hate about this.

They clearly have a vision and strategies to achieve it. It is not just sports but in many industries in the country. Whether they will succeed or not depends on many variables but clearly not whether they will run out of money like China.

Personally, I believe they’re very much capable of reaching European level quality of football in 10-20 years. If you have the vision, the will, and the money rarely do people fail.

It is not like they need to spend forever to attract players. The more quality players they get the easier it gets. The beginning of something new is always hard. That being said, other aspects of the sports and the country has to improve in parallel and quickly.

Other than signing quality players and players development program, I have yet to read their other programs tackling other significant aspects of the game such as bringing more viewers to the league via digital streaming of matches. Fortunately, they don’t suffer from the old guards who are still operating like it’s the 90s like Sky, BBC, etc… fighting over for TV rights. It is about football moved from “TV” concept to online viewing one. Remove many old rules like matches moving for TV times, only limited number of matches shown live because of the small number of channels by the operators, 2pm-5pm no live matches shown in England, etc…

Another challenge for the Saudis will be the lack of quality regional cups like the European ones (i.e UCL). Although now might be too soon but I really believe, at some point in next 5 to 10 years, they will push to either join the European Cups or form a world club cups of some sort. The Asian CL will be too weak for them. They already reach finals before this initiative. It may seem far-fetched idea now and yes there’s a long way to go before that bridge but like @db10_therza said with money everything is possible.

Another point is the life and culture of the country. Before the current king and the prince, the country was extremely conservative. The prince started many initiatives to address this such as approving plans of building new “Dubais” in Saudi. Vision 2030. Bringing events and concerts to the existing cities. These are all part of Westernizing the kingdom to attract and retain the Westerners in Saudi.

All in all, it’s a huge and long term vision by the kingdom. It might fail for many reasons but could succeed if a lot aligned for them. Purely from project point view as well as my work background being around strategy creation, development, and implementation, I am extremely interested in how this progresses and routes taken . It’s bold. Let’s be open-minded of what others want to achieve. Less ridiculing, hating, etc…
They are illegitimate British Empire created monsters who are wiping out Yemen and spreading radical Salafist ideology including backing 9-11 terrorists. The guy named the country for his family name like a pizza parlor he owns. MBS is Putin in a cute costume.
 

Farzad Stoned

Self-appointed Deprogrammer for the Cult of Mik 🟥

Country: USA

Player:Havertz
Are you manic? Drink some water and relax, Farz. Im worried about you.
I mean they are bribe monkeys I don’t want them involved in Pl. if that makes me racist against other middle eastern people in snowflake culture whatever. what incentive does MBS have to not cheat? I am a nutter for reasons though independent of petrosheik involvement in football
 

BenTal

Well-Known Member

Country: USA

Player:Zinchenko
What exactly is the issue if Saudi Arabia builds a top level league? I don’t understand the hate about this.

They clearly have a vision and strategies to achieve it. It is not just sports but in many industries in the country. Whether they will succeed or not depends on many variables but clearly not whether they will run out of money like China.

Personally, I believe they’re very much capable of reaching European level quality of football in 10-20 years. If you have the vision, the will, and the money rarely do people fail.

It is not like they need to spend forever to attract players. The more quality players they get the easier it gets. The beginning of something new is always hard. That being said, other aspects of the sports and the country has to improve in parallel and quickly.

Other than signing quality players and players development program, I have yet to read their other programs tackling other significant aspects of the game such as bringing more viewers to the league via digital streaming of matches. Fortunately, they don’t suffer from the old guards who are still operating like it’s the 90s like Sky, BBC, etc… fighting over for TV rights. It is about football moved from “TV” concept to online viewing one. Remove many old rules like matches moving for TV times, only limited number of matches shown live because of the small number of channels by the operators, 2pm-5pm no live matches shown in England, etc…

Another challenge for the Saudis will be the lack of quality regional cups like the European ones (i.e UCL). Although now might be too soon but I really believe, at some point in next 5 to 10 years, they will push to either join the European Cups or form a world club cups of some sort. The Asian CL will be too weak for them. They already reach finals before this initiative. It may seem far-fetched idea now and yes there’s a long way to go before that bridge but like @db10_therza said with money everything is possible.

Another point is the life and culture of the country. Before the current king and the prince, the country was extremely conservative. The prince started many initiatives to address this such as approving plans of building new “Dubais” in Saudi. Vision 2030. Bringing events and concerts to the existing cities. These are all part of Westernizing the kingdom to attract and retain the Westerners in Saudi.

All in all, it’s a huge and long term vision by the kingdom. It might fail for many reasons but could succeed if a lot aligned for them. Purely from project point view as well as my work background being around strategy creation, development, and implementation, I am extremely interested in how this progresses and routes taken . It’s bold. Let’s be open-minded of what others want to achieve. Less ridiculing, hating, etc…
I don't hate them. I lived in the middle east for 25 years. How much time has you spent there? Only time will say who is right about them, and I'm sure they won't make it. The new king literally killed a journalist outside his kindom and you expect progressive movement from him.
 

LookingForEric

Patronize me again and I'll destroy you 😖

Country: Northern Ireland
I mean they are bribe monkeys I don’t want them involved in Pl. if that makes me racist against other middle eastern people in snowflake culture whatever. what incentive does MBS have to not cheat? I am a nutter for reasons though independent of petrosheik involvement in football

In fairness I never thought of it like that. They could easily just create a script for that league and make everyone do it with the amount of cash flying around.
 

Blood on the Tracks

AG's best friend, role model and mentor.
Trusted ⭐

Country: England

Player:Rice
It would be good for the game if football gets a bit less European centric.

I don't think this Saudi League will be a flash in the pan but nor do I think it's going to fundamentally change the footballing landscape.

It's fine them throwing the cash around now but wait until human rights groups really start delving into this and putting pressure on players not to go there. The standard isn't going to be particularly high at least initially. Most players will think twice if they're told they won't be considered for their International teams if they're playing in a weaker league. There's also the cultural change for a lot of players.

You get retirement guys chasing money and you'll get the odd younger player who wants to follow the cash, like Oscar in China and I've no issue that. But most good / prime years footballers want to be playing in Europe, trying to win the CL or domestic leagues. It's not all about chasing the most amount of money possible there's a strong competitiveness element to it.

Most footballers have decent sized ego's, they want to the eyes on them, they want the sponsorships and endorsements, social media numbers and they want to compete in competitions that are meaningful in a sporting sense.
 

db10_therza

🎵 Edu getting rickrolled 🎵
Trusted ⭐

Country: Bangladesh

Player:White
You get retirement guys chasing money and you'll get the odd younger player who wants to follow the cash, like Oscar in China and I've no issue that. But most good / prime years footballers want to be playing in Europe, trying to win the CL or domestic leagues. It's not all about chasing the most amount of money possible there's a strong competitiveness element to it.

They’d probably be able to entice quite a few young African players I reckon, before they get snapped up by European clubs. Less of a cultural/climate transition for them and they also often have a different kind of financial pressure on them compared to European counterparts. We’ve all seen what guys like Mane and Kante have been able to do back home with their earnings.
 

Sapient Hawk

Destiny's Hand 🖐🏿
Trusted ⭐

Country: Saudi Arabia
They’d probably be able to entice quite a few young African players I reckon, before they get snapped up by European clubs. Less of a cultural/climate transition for them and they also often have a different kind of financial pressure on them compared to European counterparts. We’ve all seen what guys like Mane and Kante have been able to do back home with their earnings.

Additionally, for the religious among their number, having immediate access to Makkah and Madinah due to being in close proximity is a chance they won't pass up.
 

Blood on the Tracks

AG's best friend, role model and mentor.
Trusted ⭐

Country: England

Player:Rice
They’d probably be able to entice quite a few young African players I reckon, before they get snapped up by European clubs. Less of a cultural/climate transition for them and they also often have a different kind of financial pressure on them compared to European counterparts. We’ve all seen what guys like Mane and Kante have been able to do back home with their earnings.

Yeah, I can see them having the equivalent or maybe a bit stronger version of the MLS. The same way they've started to snap up some young South American talents maybe the Saudi League can do similar with African players.

I don't see European hegemony being challenged really but growing the leagues outside of Europe is important for the global game.

Sometimes we focus too much on Europe when it comes to the global strength of the game. Europe isn't everything.
 

Bloodbather

Established Member

Country: Turkey
Let's not be too critical of Saudi Arabia's league. Who knows if you ever walk in a Saudi consulate like Jamal Khashoggi.

Great country, no problems with it.
We gotta respect different cultures though, even if they have leaders that monopolize public resources to their own family to live lives of glamour and grandeur while espousing the virtues of modest living, exploit underpaid migrant workers in ****ty living conditions, murder and imprison dissidents, don't allow women to do much of anything in the public sphere and treat them as property, impose insanely repressive standards of sexual morality and punish people who don't abide by it with the death penalty. It's just different cultures man, and you're an imperialist pig if you think otherwise.
 

db10_therza

🎵 Edu getting rickrolled 🎵
Trusted ⭐

Country: Bangladesh

Player:White
We gotta respect different cultures though, even if they have leaders that monopolize public resources to their own family to live lives of glamour and grandeur while espousing the virtues of modest living, exploit underpaid migrant workers in ****ty living conditions, murder and imprison dissidents, don't allow women to do much of anything in the public sphere and treat them as property, impose insanely repressive standards of sexual morality and punish people who don't abide by it with the death penalty. It's just different cultures man, and you're an imperialist pig if you think otherwise.
Nothing quite like a really good, nuanced take like this to end a conversation on. Hits different.
 

Mohamed7

Well-Known Member
I don't hate them. I lived in the middle east for 25 years. How much time has you spent there? Only time will say who is right about them, and I'm sure they won't make it. The new king literally killed a journalist outside his kindom and you expect progressive movement from him.
Didn’t Obama drone-strike an American citizen without any trial?

Anyways, I have lived very short of time in KSA but more in UAE in the Golf region.
 

Mohamed7

Well-Known Member
We gotta respect different cultures though, even if they have leaders that monopolize public resources to their own family to live lives of glamour and grandeur while espousing the virtues of modest living, exploit underpaid migrant workers in ****ty living conditions, murder and imprison dissidents, don't allow women to do much of anything in the public sphere and treat them as property, impose insanely repressive standards of sexual morality and punish people who don't abide by it with the death penalty. It's just different cultures man, and you're an imperialist pig if you think otherwise.
I swear I thought you were writing about the British monarchy the first few lines… wierd.
 

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