Al-Nassr, a Saudi Pro League clubs, probably made the biggest move in league history in January when they signed free agent Cristiano Ronaldo. A lucrative two-and-a-half-year contract worth about $210 million was inked by the 38-year-old.
This summer, several big European stars moved to the SPL after Ronaldo’s arrival, mostly because of the staggering sums on offer. Neymar, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez, and Roberto Firmino are just a few examples of the elite players in this group.
However, a thorough investigation has revealed a recent pattern of some Saudi Pro League clubs underpaying their players. Due to these issues, FIFPRO, the football international union, has previously recommended players not to join SPL clubs since they had grown so pervasive.
According to The Athletic, former Nottingham Forest forward Lewis Grabban was a famous example. After joining Al-Ahli in 2022, the 35-year-old’s two-year contract was terminated after only three months because he allegedly claimed he was due $400,000 in pay.
Grabban filed a lawsuit and ultimately received $700,000. Al-Ahli was temporarily prohibited from signing any new players for the duration of two transfer windows, however, they were successful in appealing this.
Al-Nassr, owned by Cristiano Ronaldo, is also named in the same report. They were mandated to make up the $2.5 million in outstanding wages for midfielder Petros, but the matter is still pending. Additionally, the Riyadh-based company controversially ended Abderrazak Hamdallah’s employment relationship because of his “unprofessional attitude.”
According to reports, things have changed in the SPL since the Saudi Football Players Association (SFPA) was established in 2021.