Saudi Pro League plotting to poach leading Premier League referees on a permanent basis: Reports
The officiating in the SPL has been criticized in the past.
Mateu Lahoz (Via Wikipedia & SPL)
The Saudi Pro League has come into prominence following a mass exodus of players, coaches, and staff alike. Following the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Nassr, numerous players have jumped ship from Europe to the SPL. Several big-name coaches have also been lured to the league. In a recent report by The Times, it is understood that the Saudi Pro League has shifted its focus to officiating.
SPL, which was earlier ranked much behind in terms of football, has now risen to 36th in OPTA rankings. The League is set to offer substantially higher salaries for top referees in Europe, especially the Premier League. International referees were only brought in for big clashes to date. However, the league is reportedly lining up season-long deals for top referees across Europe.
A Premier League referee earns £150 to £300K per year on average. However, the SPL is set to offer substantially higher wages as per reports. It was earlier reported that Premier League referee Michael Oliver earned £3,000 for officiating a single match. The sum is almost double that of a Premier League game. The SPL was only second to the Premier League in terms of transfer window spending.
Saudi Pro League set to swoop in for Victor Osimhen
The recent controversy and fallout between Napoli management and star player Victor Osimhen has gone viral. The 24-year-old Nigerian striker has been much sought after following his remarkable performances last season. However, the recent controversy has magnified the chances of a move for the player.
After Napoli posted a video of the player with the caption ‘Gimme Penalty Please’, the player expressed his dissatisfaction. Osimhen said that he plans to take legal action against the club and aims to move away from the Italian club. As per reports, Saudi clubs are at the forefront of securing the services of the player. It is highly likely that Osimhen will force a move from Napoli in January.
Osimhen has 62 goals in 107 appearances for the club and played a crucial role in Napoli’s Scudetto win last season. Napoli are currently 5th in Serie A and have 11 points in 6 games. Osimhen has 4 goals in 6 games this season. His most recent goal came in Napoli’s clash against Udinese on Thursday.
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