Saudi football could be in dire straits for the coming months, as the nations’ government is set to implement budget constraints which could affect funding for professional clubs.
This follows news that world oil prices temporarily dropped below zero, as the COVID-19 restrictions have significantly reduced travel and thus lowered demand for oil.
As a result, the Saudi finance minister says that the government will suspend funding to Sports clubs
This comes just days after Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced the purchase of English Premier League club Newcastle United.
BREAKING: #SaudiArabia 🇸🇦 Finance Minister says government will suspend funding to sports clubs amongst a series of austerity measures announced today to limit the country’s budget deficit amid #COVID19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/93K1vWxZC6
— Ahdaaf (@Ahdaaf_ME) April 22, 2020
These developments could be worrying for Saudi football in the short run, as it is unknown how long the coronavirus shutdown worldwide is going to last.
However, given that the cost of oil extraction in Saudi Arabia is relatively less than in other parts of the world, the Gulf state could be at an advantage when worldwide demand returns.
For the time being though, it is worth keeping a close eye on the fortunes of Saudi professional clubs and the newly purchased Newcastle United.