Saudi Arabia is set to acquire football club Inter Milan for $ 1 billion, the statement said. International Business Times (IBT). An announcement is expected in the coming days after the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) completes the paperwork for the deal which some say will be a game-changer for the football world.
Inter Milan’s financial woes are believed to be the main reason for the club’s sale. Despite winning the Serie A title in 2021, current Chinese owners, Suning Holdings Group, have suffered huge losses. The Chinese company owns 70% of the club’s shares.
Inter Milan continue to lose around $ 15million per month, reported IBT. He was forced to sell two of his best players, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, allowing Chinese owners to recover $ 150 million. They also let go of team manager Antonio Conte, the Italian superstar who brought the national title to Inter after 11 years.
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Saudi Arabia’s potential acquisition of Serie A giant, one of the most prestigious teams in the world, will mark the second major club football acquisition from PIF after Newcastle United (UK Premier League) which has been finalized in October 2021. At one point the deal was in danger of collapsing and it seemed the Saudis were only interested in Inter Milan. The PIF has also set its sights on the French club Marseille.
With the global pandemic wreaking economic havoc, football clubs are becoming easy choices for investments. With the ambitious goal of diversifying the Saudi economy by 2030, Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman has ventured into major investments in sports and the arts.
Critics insist, however, that such acquisitions are designed to mask the kingdom’s poor human rights record. Saudi Arabia has spent at least $ 1.5 billion on such initiatives, which activists see as “sports washing.”