How Saudi league will join the top seven in the world

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In 2020, the Saudi Premier League will aim to be one of the top seven leagues in the world, according to Turki al-Asheikh, the chairman of the General Sports Authority.

He added that the aim is to attract over three million fans by 2019, taking into consideration that in the 2017-18 season, just over one million watched the action live in the stadiums.

What’s needed to be done:

According to al-Sheikh here is the plan to achieve that target:

• Increase attendance of fans above the avarage of the current 6,000.

• Turning the clubs into private entities within the national government plan to diversify the economy.

• Accountability, as 20 percent of FIFA cases that deal with salaries not being paid to players or coaches originate in Saudi Arabia.

• Enhancing the broadcasting rights over the next decade.

• Selecting the right people to run the clubs.

• Privatization and from next season, clubs would spend 70 percent of their revenue and the rest is reserved for administration, operations and youth development.

• Squad sizes will be reduced from 33 to 28.

• Seven foreign players, instead of four now.

• Clubs to include a minimum of five local players aged 23 or under.

• Improving refereeing standards and facilities for the media.

• Bringing more stars. Al Hilal is linked with Monaco striker Radamel Falcao as well as Southampton's Japanese international Maya Yoshida.