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SOCCER

Manchester United and Liverpool “good business” for Saudi investment, say minister

Talking to Sky News, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister admitted he wants Saudi investors to take over Manchester United and Liverpool.

Joe Brennan
Update:
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22: ( THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Luis Diaz of Liverpool  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on August 22, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Andrew PowellGetty

Saudi Arabia sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said he wants Saudi investors to take over Manchester United and Liverpool.

After the announcement of Manchester United’s owners seeking “strategic alternatives” coming shortly after news of the intended sale of Liverpool was confirmed, the minister has welcomed potential interest from Saudi Arabia after already acquiring 80% of shares in Newcastle United and the LIV Golf series.

I hope so, if there are investors and the numbers add up, and it makes a good business,” he said in an interview with Sky News. “Then the private sector could come in, or companies could come in, from the kingdom.”

Prince Abdulaziz also added that “the Premier League is the best league in the world; everyone’s watching it. It is the most watched league and there are diehard fans of these teams in the kingdom. So it would be a benefit for everyone.”

Premier League smashes transfer spending record
Full screen
Newcastle United supporters celebrate outside St James' Park after the sale of the football club to a Saudi-led consortium was confirmed in 2021.AFP

Saudi interest in Cristiano Ronaldo

“Who wouldn’t want [Ronaldo] to play in their league?” Prince Abdulaziz told Sky News. “He’s a role model to a lot of young players - him and Messi.”

“I can say that we have a strong league [in Saudi Arabia]. It’s not one of the strongest in Asia. You know, we’re building towards a better future. And we see how the future holds up for that.”

Ortega a candidate for ownership of Manchester club

Inditex owner Amancio Ortega has been taken off the list of potential owners according to the Manchester Evening News, who claim he “has informed senior executives of his interest in buying Manchester United”.

However, reports from Galicia, the northwestern region in Spain where Ortega - worth $62.9B - is from, claim otherwise. “The news does not correspond to the reality [of the situation]” say local news sources quoting Pontegadea, the investment arm of his business empire. They say they were “surprised” to see Ortega’s name linked with the purchase of the club.

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