Saudi wealth fund to take control of soccer star Ronaldo’s club

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Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund will take control of four of the kingdom’s top soccer clubs including Al-Nassr, which Cristiano Ronaldo plays for, as the government revives a plan to privatise several state-owned sports clubs.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will own 75% of al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al-Hilal, the sports ministry said on Twitter on Monday following a report by state news agency SPA that Saudi Arabia will privatise several sports clubs from the fourth quarter.All are in the top-flight Saudi Professional League, except Al-Ahli which is in the second-tier Saudi First Division. PIF has previously taken over several companies before privatising them, though often partially.Sports is one of the pillars of the government’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan that seeks to build new industries and create jobs, which PIF is at the centre of.The privatisation plan, mainly focused on soccer clubs and launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, allows companies and development agencies to invest in and take over clubs, SPA reported earlier on Monday.


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