Saudi ambitions in sport are not new. In rugby, yes. According to the Telegraph this Thursday, the Kingdom, via its armed wing of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), would be ready to invest in four Premiership clubs, the English championship: Leicester, Gloucester, Northampton and Newcastle.
The Saudi investment fund already owns more than 80% of Newcastle football club NUFC in the Premier League. The investment in rugby would amount to £60 million and would include the creation of a rugby academy in Saudi Arabia as well as naming contracts for English stadiums.
If concluded, the agreement would be welcome for a championship plagued by significant financial difficulties in recent years. London Irish, Wasps and Worcester even went bankrupt in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.