Last summer, Saudi Arabia’s sides shocked the world of soccer by spending over $864 million on new players. Among these talents were Neymar, Roberto Firmino, Karim Benzema and many more.

Together, they became part of the Saudi Pro League A-list roster, joining Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese titan moved to Al-Nassr in January 2023.

When the European Union tightened its spending restrictions in January, it sent a shiver down the market. Thus, the Saudi clubs remained silent. It is no secret that the Saudi government wants its national soccer league to rank among the world’s top five.

So, when the summer transfer window rolls around, however, the Kingdom will once again make a splash.

What did Saudi chief say about upcoming transfer window?

The Saudi Pro League’s vice chair, Saad Al Lazeez, has announced a massive budget boost for the next summer season. Al Lazeez stressed the dedication to the long term in his speech at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit.

“This is a long-term investment. We are not in it for a season. We are pleased with what has been achieved so far. In fact, I think we are a bit ahead of schedule,” he said.

The league seems on track to achieve its objectives, as he expressed satisfaction with the progress made thus far. Al Lazeez also emphasized that the Saudi league is integral to the kingdom’s plan to diversify its economic base.

Players were “highlighted by acquisitions” last summer, according to Al Lazeez, and the Saudi Pro League will keep this strategy “in the upcoming windows” as it expedites its development.

In addition, he said that more clubs will be privatized before the May season ends, which might provide new funding to clubs that were inactive in the transfer market last year.

What did the Saudi chief say about poor attendance and exiting stars?

Several famous players have joined the Saudi league, notably N’Golo Kante, a former Premier League player of the season, and Karim Benzema, winner of the Ballon d’Or. This has allowed the league to sell its broadcast rights to a worldwide audience.

The league has, however, had periods of poor attendance. There have been less than 8,000 spectators each game this season, which is lower than the English third division. It is a “huge area for improvement” and “viewership and attendance is the name of the game,” according to Al Lazeez.

The huge salaries provided to players by the Saudi league will pay off, according to Al Lazeez, who added, “You’ve got to start somewhere.”

As an example, consider Jordan Henderson, the former captain of the English national team who left midtable club Al-Ettifaq after only six months. He was “one of the best signings that we made for the Saudi Pro League,” according to Al Lazeez, who vouched for him.

“It’s natural that not all players will stay with us. Henderson is a fantastic individual, but sometimes things just don’t work out. That’s the nature of the sport,” he added.