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Saudi League chat.

VegasII

Well-Known Member
May 14, 2008
9,750
16,670
Do any of these kids actually watch football though? I know that sounds like a silly question, but my gut says that they’re more than likely completely absorbed by FUT and so don’t really care about where a player is playing, so long as they get them in a pack.

Can‘t see them sitting down of an evening to watch Al Hillal vs Al Mu’ray.
1692879324413.jpeg
 

Marty

Audere est farce
Mar 10, 2005
40,400
64,854
Do any of these kids actually watch football though? I know that sounds like a silly question, but my gut says that they’re more than likely completely absorbed by FUT and so don’t really care about where a player is playing, so long as they get them in a pack.

Can‘t see them sitting down of an evening to watch Al Hillal vs Al Mu’ray.
We've long since reached the point where kids stop supporting clubs and start supporting players instead. It started with Ronaldo and now it's all about him, Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, Haaland. Kids want a Ronaldo shirt regardless of which club he plays for, they're more interested in watching his highlights reel than a full game.

Obviously a generalisation on my part but the trend is clear. I've seen a sickening number of Saudi shirts (I can't even remember what club he plays for) with Ronaldo 7 on them over the summer. I see the same with Haaland over here in Norway, thousands of City shirts with Haaland 9 on them and before that I saw more Dortmund shirts here in the 18 months he was there than I'd ever seen in my life. Now a year after he's gone to City all those Dortmund shirts have disappeared as if like magic.

Supporting a team and watching a full game is becoming less and less common.
 

Timberwolf

Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2008
10,328
50,217
We've long since reached the point where kids stop supporting clubs and start supporting players instead. It started with Ronaldo and now it's all about him, Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, Haaland. Kids want a Ronaldo shirt regardless of which club he plays for, they're more interested in watching his highlights reel than a full game.

Obviously a generalisation on my part but the trend is clear. I've seen a sickening number of Saudi shirts (I can't even remember what club he plays for) with Ronaldo 7 on them over the summer. I see the same with Haaland over here in Norway, thousands of City shirts with Haaland 9 on them and before that I saw more Dortmund shirts here in the 18 months he was there than I'd ever seen in my life. Now a year after he's gone to City all those Dortmund shirts have disappeared as if like magic.

Supporting a team and watching a full game is becoming less and less common.
While I absolutely agree this is a growing trend I do think this type of thing is much more common outside of the UK where club allegiances are less based on family or regional connections and more player-focused or random. There's a share of kids in the UK that are exactly like you describe and I reckon the 'highlight reels' and FUT thing is true, but since they've grown up with the Premier League on their doorstep I think the majority have a domestic team they support and stick with.

Purely anecdotal but I've pretty much seen zero Ronaldo shirts around London but still see plenty of kids in Spurs shirts, Arsenal shirts, Chelsea shirts, etc. I saw a kid wearing a Messi Inter Miami shirt the other day but that's about it.

What you're talking about reminds me massively of when I lived in Korea, though. The kids there would change teams at the drop of a hat and were far, far more focused on star players and moments of skill rather than watching one team play matches week after week.

Given how much money comes from the international markets these days, if suddenly all of the marketing and TV money swings towards the Saudi league and that's what the non-domestic fans are interested in, it could have a big impact.
 

Tucker

Shitehawk
Jul 15, 2013
31,740
148,472
We've long since reached the point where kids stop supporting clubs and start supporting players instead. It started with Ronaldo and now it's all about him, Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, Haaland. Kids want a Ronaldo shirt regardless of which club he plays for, they're more interested in watching his highlights reel than a full game.

Obviously a generalisation on my part but the trend is clear. I've seen a sickening number of Saudi shirts (I can't even remember what club he plays for) with Ronaldo 7 on them over the summer. I see the same with Haaland over here in Norway, thousands of City shirts with Haaland 9 on them and before that I saw more Dortmund shirts here in the 18 months he was there than I'd ever seen in my life. Now a year after he's gone to City all those Dortmund shirts have disappeared as if like magic.

Supporting a team and watching a full game is becoming less and less common.
Yeah but most of those kids aren’t making any money for the football clubs, and to a lesser extent the players. Yes it’s a case that many kids are more interested in the players these days, but it’s not replica shirts or YouTube highlights that pay those players wages. Sure the players will get sponsorships if they’re driving engagement on social media, but it’s not going to sustain a competitive league.

In Europe at least, it’s tv revenue and match attendance that drives the industry. That’s where the vast majority of the money comes from.

Saudi is a special case, it’s less a football league and more a branding exercise. The regime isn’t funding this out of love for the game, or even a “bread and circuses“ exercise to appease the population. All it is is an attempt to legitimise the country in the eyes of the west.

They know there will be a reckoning with Iran one way or another in the next century. America has always guaranteed their safety due to oil reserves and the need for a strategic partner in the Middle East. That’s not a forever deal though, and there’s already signs of the Americans being less keen to remain such firm allies.

Saudi will keep pumping money into their football league until their foreign policy aims are achieved. So this isn’t going away anytime soon imo. It’s likely they’ll push for a World Cup in the next decade too, so we’ve all got another disruptive winter World Cup to look forward to.
 

easley91

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2011
19,426
55,679
Is there even anywhere to watch it in the UK? Or is that something in the works with a broadcaster?
 

RuskyM

Well-Known Member
Jul 9, 2011
7,343
24,790

Reading this, surely many of these games won't be competitive? I know there's always going to be team imbalances but, well, if one side has Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante and the other has no one, surely that's going to result in very dull low quality games?

I mean, I watched some highlights after reading that and well, just watch this - it's hardly a great advert for the quality. Besides, that crowd is hilarious - this is meant to be the big guns arriving at a 25k stadium. No fucker's there. You can't tell me this is the future of football.

 

SlotBadger

({})?
Jul 24, 2013
14,157
44,329

Reading this, surely many of these games won't be competitive? I know there's always going to be team imbalances but, well, if one side has Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante and the other has no one, surely that's going to result in very dull low quality games?

I mean, I watched some highlights after reading that and well, just watch this - it's hardly a great advert for the quality. Besides, that crowd is hilarious - this is meant to be the big guns arriving at a 25k stadium. No fucker's there. You can't tell me this is the future of football.


Also love how Benzema is the main focus of the thumbnail (having watched the entire video).
 

funkycoldmedina

Well-Known Member
Jun 20, 2004
2,000
6,602

Reading this, surely many of these games won't be competitive? I know there's always going to be team imbalances but, well, if one side has Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante and the other has no one, surely that's going to result in very dull low quality games?

I mean, I watched some highlights after reading that and well, just watch this - it's hardly a great advert for the quality. Besides, that crowd is hilarious - this is meant to be the big guns arriving at a 25k stadium. No fucker's there. You can't tell me this is the future of football.


The powers that be will soon be able to 'whip' up some interest I'm sure
 

McFlash

Without doubt the dumbest & most clueless member.
Oct 19, 2005
13,221
47,741

Reading this, surely many of these games won't be competitive? I know there's always going to be team imbalances but, well, if one side has Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante and the other has no one, surely that's going to result in very dull low quality games?

I mean, I watched some highlights after reading that and well, just watch this - it's hardly a great advert for the quality. Besides, that crowd is hilarious - this is meant to be the big guns arriving at a 25k stadium. No fucker's there. You can't tell me this is the future of football.


Jesus, that stadium is empty and looking at that, I'm not sure where that crowd noise was coming from.
It can't be much fun for all these big name players to be turning out to such small crowds and shit atmospheres, it must really feel like they've sold their souls.
Yes, they get driven back to their mansions in a gold plated Bugatti but for a football player to play in such a dull place must be quite an eye opener.

Makes me wonder how many will soon be regretting their decision to go there?
Imagine being Henderson? Selling out to go and play there after the atmosphere of Anfield.
I mean, I'm not a player but for me, the fans, stadiums and feel of a big game would be a massive part of me enjoying playing the game.
I can only imagine the buzz our players would've got at the Lane for the Man United game, then compare that to those highlights I've just watched.
 

SirHarryHotspur

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2017
5,382
8,064
Nothing to worry about, they might have bought out some sports but it's not going to happen with football.
 

spursfan77

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2005
46,740
105,103
(Posted this in the Veiga thread but also here since it's much more relevant)

For the international or FIFA-obsessed young football fan that cares more about individual players than teams or football culture they'll happily switch to the Saudi league without too much thought.

They're clearly going all in on the recruitment and no-one can compete with them in that area so I think it will live or die by the lifestyle and overall product.

Was listening to a podcast the other day and apparently the games are all played in obscene heat and the attendances are largely pretty pathetic (half full 30k stadium for Jordan Henderson's debut at 35+ degrees).

The real test will be in a year or two when the novelty wears off for the first wave of players that have gone there. Do they all start coming back to Europe after 1 or 2 seasons of tax-free millions? Do they complain about the conditions, lack of fan culture and lifestyle? Or do they re-sign and just ride the Saudi money train for the remainder of their careers?

Right now we're only seeing the appeal of the money, but it's hard to sustain a league or generate long term excitement if players are only willing to sign short-term deals and/or start complaining about the league and leaving Saudi clubs at the first opportunity.

And if that starts to happen what do the Saudi clubs do in response? Start only offering longer deals and refusing to let players leave? Then players start to get wary of signing for them as they don't want to get trapped in Saudi for 4-5 years...

It gets complicated.

This is what I am full well expecting to happen.
 

chas vs dave

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2008
5,505
22,247
Apparently, Al Ettifaq are signing Gini Winjaldum (sp?)

Is Gerrard trying to recreate 2020 Liverpool?

It's almost the equivalent of Redknapps infatuation with the defoe/crouch/Niko triangle
 

Marty

Audere est farce
Mar 10, 2005
40,400
64,854


So Henderson's social team has written this, in Arabic.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the hospitality of the hosts, the enthusiasm of the fans, the exciting league and the irreplaceable sense of victory.

Next is better.
 

neogenisis

*Gensy*
Jun 27, 2006
5,966
13,592
The quality of football is just proper proper horrendous. Like watching Sunday League, but Sunday League even with Fat Dave in goal after a night on the tiles is still 100 times better.
 

mark87

Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2004
36,362
116,273
Oh fuck off you insufferable prick. Wants to be the victim all the while being paid £700k a week. Wanker.

 
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