The challenges of privatising Saudi Arabia’s football clubs - An update in 2018

Published 15 June 2018 By: Steve Bainbridge, Andrew Moroney

Saudi Arabia Soccer Ball

Progress towards privatising the top 14 professional football clubs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA”) continues apace in light of a string of recent developments. This article considers these developments and the enormous potential of (and potential issues for) a privatised KSA football industry. It builds on the authors’ previous piece, available to read here.1 Specifically, it looks at:

  • Background

  • Recent developments

  • The structural potential of KSA football

  • Potential Challenges

 

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Author

Steve Bainbridge

Steve Bainbridge

Steve has almost 20 years experience in his field of expertise; and, he has significant experience advising on a wide array of the transactional elements underpinning the sports and events management sector from sponsorship agreements and packages of all types to athlete endorsement agreements; anti-ambush marketing strategies and enforcement; player contracts; broadcasting agreements and IP registration and enforcement; merchandising and licensing agreements; player disciplinary issues; event security; ticketing arrangements and varied venue/facilities management arrangements.

Steve rejoined Al Tamimi & Company in 2013 with a mandate to develop and head up the region’s first dedicated Sports Law Practice, which has since grown rapidly as a regional leader to include key advisory roles representing individuals, corporate entities, governing bodies and institutions in connection with events spanning motorsports, horse racing, triathlons, MMA, cycling, golf, tennis, cricket and football to name but a few.

 

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Andrew Moroney

Andrew Moroney

Associate

Andrew is an Associate in Al Tamimi & Company’s Sports Law & Events Management Practice. He has a wide array of experience advising clients in the sports and events sector on sponsorship; broadcasting; merchandising; ticketing; player contracts; intermediary issues; athlete endorsement; disciplinary issues; regulatory matters and disputes. He regularly advises corporate entities, governing bodies, individuals and international law firms on matters spanning football, cycling, horseracing, motorsports, golf and tennis. Andrew also has a particular interest in the growing eSports industry.

Before joining Al Tamimi, Andrew was Legal Counsel at the (English) Football Association, primarily focussed on regulatory matters, dispute resolution and risk management. Highlights included re-drafting the FA Rulebook, acting as the Secretariat for the FA Rule K arbitration process and handling a number of cases heard by the UEFA Disciplinary Committee, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Prior to that, Andrew trained and qualified at a large European law firm in London, where he gained further experience advising football, rugby, horseracing and boxing clients on regulatory, corruption and anti-doping matters. Andrew also spent six months working on the landmark inquests into the Hillsborough stadium disaster.

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