Saudi Pro League teams have signed multiple star players from major European leagues over the course of the last 12 months.


The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino and Riyad Mahrez now all ply their trade in Saudi Arabia and the league is eyeing major expansion.




However, Southampton minority owner Liebherr is not concerned.


She believes that even though Saudi Arabia has made so many marquee signings, the Pro League will never be able to match the excitement and level of the Premier League.


“Of course, it’s nice to put together such a dream team with a lot of money”, Liebherr told Swiss daily Blick about the Saudi clubs signing star players this summer.



“But the Saudi league will never be able to compete with the Premier League.


“The excitement and enthusiasm we experience in the European leagues, that any team can become champion or be relegated, that’s what football is all about. There are no guarantees.”



Liebherr insisted that the Saudis cannot buy the soul of football with their money and stressed that football is not all about money and scoring goals, but it is about having a sense of unity with the fans as well.


“No [I haven’t tuned into the Pro League], the Saudis can buy players, but not the soul of football.


“A club like Southampton means an awful lot.


“It’s about youth work, about a social environment, about identity and prospects.


“It’s not only about scoring beautiful goals but also about a sense of unity. Especially in regions that are not so economically strong.


“There are many people who are not doing well in terms of health or finances who find support in the club.


“During Corona, the club supported many people who were alone at home.


“Homework support was provided for children; drug addicts were re-socialised through sport.


“In England, a football club is not just football itself, a lot is going on in society.


“If the club in Southampton were no longer there tomorrow, there would be a huge hole.”


The Saudi Pro League shows no sign of slowing down and Premier League sides may well find themselves battling to hold on to top players in the January transfer window.