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12th Jun 2023

Saudi Arabian clubs found guilty of not paying players’ wages

Callum Boyle

Saudi Arabia


A damning report from the international union FIFPRO has revealed that clubs in Saudi Arabia have been found guilty of not paying players’ wages properly.

Saudi Arabia has been in the headlines of late after some of their big-name signings which include Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, with more high-profile targets set to make the move to the Middle East.

However FIFPRO, who look after over 65,000 players from across the world, have warned players to not to make the move to the kingdom if given the opportunity.

Details of the report, revealed by The Athletic, show a number of worrying cases. There have been over cases relating to pay alone involving clubs from Saudi Arabia.

One example includes former Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest forward Lewis Grabban, who had a brief spell with Al Ahli before leaving three months into his deal.

Grabban reportedly demanded £2.2m in compensation after failing to receive any signing on fee, as well as two months worth of wages.

After being involved in a tribunal, Al Ahli were banned from signing players for “two entire and consecutive registration periods” as well as being ordered to pay Grabban $500,000 in wages and $700,000 for breach of contract.

They aren’t the only club to have been involved in the controversy. Ronaldo’s employers Al Nassr were forced to pay Brazilian midfielder Petros $2.5m back in November over a similar dispute.

In recent weeks the Saudi Public Investment Fund – who have an 80 per cent majority stake in Newcastle – took over the league’s four biggest clubs (Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr and Al Hilal) in order to use their financial muscle to attract even more big names.

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