Published: 2023-07-02 14:08
Last Updated: 2024-02-26 09:25
Robbie Fowler, a former Liverpool striker, was hired to coach the Saudi Arabian team Al-Qadisiyah.
A number of top European players, including Christiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Hakim Ziyech, have recently announced trades to the more–lucrative Saudi Pro League. Al-Qadisiyah confirmed the appointment of Fowler on its Twitter page but did not state the length of Fowler’s contract.
Fowler, one of Liverpool’s most celebrated players, scored 183 goals in 369 games for Liverpool. Fowler played for Leeds and Manchester City.
In his managerial career, Fowler coached the Thai Muangthong United, Australia’s Brisbane Roar, and India’s East Bengal — but not with the same level of success as his career as a player.
Ronaldo joined the Saudi Pro League’s Al Nassr FC for a guaranteed USD 75 million per year and the potential to reach USD 200 million per year with commercial agreements. Benzema was reportedly offered over USD 200 million for two years to join Al-Ittihad. Lionel Messi recently agreed to play for the American Inter Miami CF team for between USD 50 million and USD 60 million per year for just over two years.
Fans took to Instagram to protest the recent trades, writing, “Football will be destroyed because of Saudis” and “Money destroys everything.” The trades are part of a move by the Saudi Pro League to boost its revenue to $480 million annually by 2030.
As part of a national project encouraging corporations to invest in sports, Saudi Arabia plans to privatize the Saudi Pro League starting in the fourth quarter of 2023. The Saudi Pro League is currently owned by the state, and oil giant Saudi Aramco is set to take over Al-Qadisiyah.