- Offer is threefold increase on Saudi Arabia’s current €8m a year deal
- Kingdom has hosted Supercoppa in 2018 and 2019
Saudi Arabia has offered €138 million (US$138 million) to host Italian soccer’s Supercoppa Italiana until 2028/29, according to Milano Finanza.
Saudi sports marketing firm Sela Sport has reportedly tendered the proposal to Lega Serie A, the governing body for the top flight of Italian club soccer.
The offer is said to be worth almost three times the current €8 million (US$8 million) a year contract.
Milano Finanza adds that a separate offer is being prepared by a Hungarian company.
A delegation from Lega Serie A, including chief executive Luigi De Siervo, is expected to travel to the Saudi capital Riyadh to meet Sela Sport representatives in the coming days.
The Gulf state is also reportedly again pushing to make the Supercoppa a four-team event, featuring the champions and runners-up of Serie A and the two finalists of the Coppa Italia. Traditionally, the fixture pits the current winner of those two competitions against each other.
Corriere dello Sport had reported at the end of 2019 that Lega Serie A was considering expanding the Supercoppa to four clubs. That would mirror the format being used by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for its Spanish Super Cup, where four teams contest semi-finals and a final.
Saudi Arabia has already hosted the Supercoppa in 2018 and 2019 at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City and Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium, respectively. The next edition, featuring city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan, will take place in Riyadh on 18th January.
In doubling down on taking games to Saudi Arabia, it appears Serie A feels more secure in its approach to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after finally securing a regional broadcast partnership with Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) back in July.
That deal, worth a minimum €75 million (US$75 million), ended a broadcast blackout in the MENA region that’s been in force since BeIN Sports chose not to renew its Serie A contract at the end of the 2020/21 season. Live Serie A has only been available on YouTube since.
The Qatari-based pay-TV network shunned a new deal at the time, saying the league was not doing enough to combat piracy. Serie A’s initial contract to take the Supercoppa to Jeddah also angered BeIN as it came at the height of the BeoutQ affair, where Saudi Arabia was found to be supporting the piracy operation.
Now, with a new broadcast partner onboard, the league’s main opposition to this move will come from human rights groups.