EPL

Saudi Arabia government 'would definitely support' bids for Man Utd and Liverpool

By Sports Desk November 24, 2022

Saudi Arabia's sports minister says the government "will definitely support" any private sector bids for Manchester United and Liverpool.

Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the owners of Liverpool, announced earlier this month it would welcome new investment at the club, while the Glazer family said they will explore a sale of United.

With fellow Premier League club Newcastle United taken over by Saudi owners in October 2021, there has been talk that Liverpool and United could also attract interest from the region.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, the kingdom's sports minister, believes the government would be extremely interested in the possibility of taking over two of the biggest clubs in Europe.

He told BBC Sport: "From the private sector, I can't speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there's a lot of passion about football.

"It's the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League.

"We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that's going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom.

"If there's an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not?"

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    Three-time World Cup winner Pele, regarded among the greatest players of all time, is receiving medical care at home in Brazil.

    The 82-year-old underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon last year, and has been in and out of hospital since.

    His daughter, Kely Nascimento, has said there is "no surprise or emergency" over her father's hospitalisation after he was admitted this week.

    Particularly coming at a time when a World Cup is taking place and he is not present, the news of Pele needing hospital attention has caused concern for many.

    Tite read out a statement before taking questions at Brazil's press conference, saying: "We all wish a lot of health to Pele.

    "We found out the news from the press. He’s the biggest representative of the national team and we wish him much health. That is the feeling of all the squad, we wish Pele the very best."

    Pele's daughter said in her statement on Wednesday that "the media is freaking out again", adding that she planned to visit her father in the new year, with her brothers visiting at present.

    As Brazil got their tournament under way last week, Pele sent the squad a message of good luck. He was a World Cup winner in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

    He wrote on Instagram: "Today we start writing a new story. No matter the size and tradition of the opponents: we must respect and play each match with the focus of a final.

    "It is important to play beautifully, yes, but it is also essential to leave everything on the pitch.

    "Today, we will be more than 200 million hearts beating as one, vibrating with each achievement of our Selecao.

    "I am sending all positive energies to you. I'm sure we'll have a happy ending. God bless you. Bring this trophy home!"

    Brazil have begun their campaign with a 2-0 win over Serbia and a 1-0 success against Switzerland, rounding off their Group G campaign against Cameroon on Friday.

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    "I didn't see the France [loss to Tunisia] last night. I saw the result and there have been a lot of shocks in this tournament," he said at a press conference on Thursday. 

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    "It was obviously COVID back then so we couldn't see anyone, friends or family," he said. "But we saw videos of the fans back home and it brought all the fans together.

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