The soccer landscape is constantly evolving, with new leagues and ambitious projects seeking to establish themselves on the global stage. One such endeavor is the Saudi Arabian soccer league’s aspiration to become one of the top 10 leagues in the world by 2030.
However, this vision has drawn comparisons to the established English Premier League, and CEO Richard Masters remains pragmatic. In an interview with BBC Sport, Masters addressed concerns about the Saudi league’s growing influence and potential conflicts of interest while acknowledging their right to compete in the global market.
— The Siasat Daily (@TheSiasatDaily) May 25, 2023
Cristiano Ronaldo, who revolutionized the Saudi Pro League after joining Al-Nassr last season following a bitter exit from Manchester United, has indeed paved the way for other prolific soccer stars to join as well. There hasn’t been much letting off the leash, as Saudi Arabia has really done wonders in this season’s transfer window.
Ronaldo has already unveiled that Saudi Pro League will be recognized among the top 10 soccer leagues worldwide within a decade. However, Richard Masters responded to Ronaldo’s vision with measured skepticism by that the Premier League’s journey to its current position of prominence took an arduous 30-year path, characterized by developing a strong profile, competitiveness, and reliable revenue streams.
Cristiano Ronaldo recognizes the English Premier League as the powerhouse of soccer
A few days back in an interview, Cristiano Ronaldo already ruled out any possibility of him returning to Europe. He was even full of praise for the English Premier League as he stated, “The only valid one and still doing good is the Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues.”
🗣️ Cristiano Ronaldo on his future: “I’m 𝟭𝟬𝟬% 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 I won’t return to any European club. European football has lost a lot of quality. The only valid one and still doing good is the Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues.” 🙅♂️❌ pic.twitter.com/8Q00Zs5MkR
— OneFootball (@OneFootball) July 18, 2023
Similarly, Richard Masters’s measured response reflects the Premier League’s enduring commitment to excellence and sustainable growth. “In the end, the Premier League is a £6billion-a-year operation in terms of revenue and that money is spent reinvested into the pitch. All good competitions have to have revenue streams to back them up,” he said.
🎙️ Premier League CEO Richard Masters:
“The Saudi league wants to be among the top 10 leagues in the world by 2030. It took us 30 years to get to the position we have in terms of profit, competitiveness and revenue streams.
I’m not too worried at the moment, but obviously… pic.twitter.com/ZMSvQTEGxu
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) July 25, 2023
Aston Villa, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Fulham, and Newcastle are currently participating in the Premier League Summer Series as part of their preseason tours of America. Masters also emphasized the Premier League’s own continued growth while praising the tournament’s success.
Although Masters acknowledged the changes in the Saudi league as well, he said he is not currently overly concerned. He understood that Saudi Arabian clubs have the same right to add players to their rosters as clubs in any other league. The CEO argued that substantial revenue streams are necessary for soccer leagues to prosper, and he continued to have faith in the Premier League’s sound business plan to sustain its ongoing competitiveness.