Premier League soccer side Manchester United have announced a partnership with the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA) to develop the Arab state’s soccer industry.
The 20-time English champions will provide Saudi Arabia’s clubs, sporting authorities, and athletes with business and sporting expertise.
The new agreement forms part of Saudi Vision 2030, announced in 2016, which aims to diversify the Saudi economy and develop its public sectors.
“The club has a longstanding relationship with Saudi Arabia and has over five million passionate fans in the region,” said Richard Arnold, group managing director at Manchester United. “Our partnership with Saudi Telecom is the longest-running of all our commercial partners. Having the chance to help shape the football industry in the Kingdom is a great honour and it is something where we believe we can make a big difference.
“I hope that this strategic alliance will benefit generations of Saudi footballers, supporters and young professionals looking to work in football well beyond Saudi Vision 2030.”
“This relationship is part of an exciting programme we are undertaking to transform sport in Saudi Arabia,” added Turki Al-Shikh, chairman of the GSA. “Manchester United has a phenomenal reputation for delivery in these areas. We believe their knowledge and experience will be invaluable in making this project successful.”
Manchester United finished sixth in the Premier League in the 2016/17 season. They have won six of their opening eight games in 2017/18, putting them two points behind leaders Manchester City. After seizing a 1-0 victory over Benfica in the Uefa Champions League on 18th October, they play Huddersfield away on Saturday.