According to UEFA, multi-club ownership of clubs playing in the same competition let alone playing in the same league is not permitted. But the group that owns Newcastle United, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken control of four clubs from the Saudi Professional Football League without restriction.

In one of the boldest moves by a football group, the Saudi Arabia PIF group now owns at least a 75% stake in each of the top guns of the Saudi Pro League (Al Nassr, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal, and Al Ahli).

PIF Confirms its Control of Four Clubs in the Saudi Pro League on Their Official Twitter Page

This move now enables the Saudi Ministry of Sport to take full control of the clubs, with the PIF confirming in a tweet that it will “work closely on all the necessary regulatory procedures.”

The only two teams that have managed to do so while playing in the same European competition are RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg, but under-enforcement from UEFA ordering the two clubs to provide a different organizational structure before being permitted to.

The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund came into the limelight after acquiring Newcastle United, with their investment paying off which has seen the club qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2003.

With Benzema already set to join Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League, with Lionel Messi potentially set to follow, all the world’s best players will be set to play under one ownership.

This move coupled with the acquisition is set to put the Saudi Pro League in the spotlight and maintain its stronghold to compete financially with other top European clubs.

Al Ittihad was crowned champions in the just-concluded Saudi Pro League after finishing above Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.

The new 2023/2024 season is scheduled to kickstart by August.


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