‘It’s making a mockery of sporting integrity’ – Simon Jordan shocked by £210m Saudi Arabian offer for Cristiano Ronaldo with Manchester United star urged to follow Tiger Woods’ LIV Golf stance

    Simon Jordan has hit out at Saudi Arabia’s attempts to lure Cristiano Ronaldo to the country by offering £210million over two seasons.

    Reports have suggested that Al-Hilal made the offer to the Portuguese star with his future at Manchester United hanging in the balance, only for the 37-year-old to reject the move.

    Ronaldo has reportedly rejected a £210million offer to move to Saudi Arabia

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    Ronaldo has reportedly rejected a £210million offer to move to Saudi Arabia

    This was down to him wanting to play football at the highest level..

    The Saudi Arabian state has made a real splash in the sporting world over the last 12 months following their takeover of Newcastle United and the launch of the LIV Golf Series that has seen many of the world’s top golfing stars leave the PGA Tour in favour of the more lucrative alternative.

    Jordan was quizzed on the big-money offer made to Ronaldo and asked whether they could be tempted to replicate the LIV Golf Series by buying the Premier League in order to own the largest footballing entity in the world, something that the ex-Crystal Palace chairman was skeptical about.

    He told talkSPORT: “It’ll be difficult to see how they can do it because the Premier League isn’t an entity that you can buy.

    “The Premier League is not an entity that can be bought without the cooperation of all 20 clubs, whereas in structure, there would be a far different dynamic buying it than buying into it.

    “If this is serious and someone is offering Ronaldo £100million a season to play in a league, first of all it’s absurd and makes you feel quite ill doesn’t it?

    Ronaldo has fallen down the pecking order with United and was offered a ridiculous sums to move to Saudi Arabia

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    Ronaldo has fallen down the pecking order with United and was offered a ridiculous sums to move to Saudi Arabia

    “It’s making a mockery of sporting integrity because it’s not about sporting integrity, it’s just about money.

    “You can’t put it past these Middle Eastern environments because the biggest show in town is football, but how they would do it and how it would be received and structured.

    “You can’t own the clubs, you can own the structure of the league and by owning the structure of the league you’re owning the media rights and so what would be the purpose of that?”

    Asked about America’s model in the 1970s of attracting the world’s top stars in the autumn of their careers, Jordan said: “It’s different because what America did with Pele and Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff is that they all went to play in America and it was the big thing to do.

    It comes after the launch of the LIV Golf Series with many of golf’s biggest stars ditching the PGA to join the lucrative, Saudi-backed tour

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    It comes after the launch of the LIV Golf Series with many of golf’s biggest stars ditching the PGA to join the lucrative, Saudi-backed tour

    “People like Peter Beardsley went out there and played for Vancouver Whitecaps and so did Trevor Francis, but it didn’t get anywhere. This is obviously a very different scale.

    “It’s very different because there’s a team mentality in football and clubs are owned by very wealthy individuals in their own right, so to buy a league and do something different with the existing structure would be quite difficult, whereas getting a competing on a tour and getting individuals to compete on that tour is different.

    “We’re talking about individuals and talking about cherry-picking Ronaldo and getting him to play in the Saudi league for £200million.

    Ronaldo is arguably the biggest name in world football right now

    Ronaldo is arguably the biggest name in world football right now

    “Ronaldo has said that he wants to play serious football, he knows that going to play in Saudi Arabia is not serious football.

    “It’s just a huge pay day and quite frankly if they’re stupid enough to give it to him, then in two or three years time when he’s coming to the end of his competitive cycle he’ll be foolish not to take it.”

    While some jumped at the chance, Tiger Woods reportedly turned down £800million to turn out in the LIV Golf Series, a stance that Jordan believes that Ronaldo could benefit from taking.

    He said: “Tiger Woods has done something very rare in sport that is showing respect for the opportunity that was given to him.

    Woods turned down astronomical sums of money to play in the LIV Golf Series

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    Woods turned down astronomical sums of money to play in the LIV Golf Series

    Ronaldo could benefit from doing the same, says Jordan

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    Ronaldo could benefit from doing the same, says Jordan

    “He recognises that the immense achievements that his talents gave him were supported by the platforms of these unique tournaments that he played in.

    “When he goes back to Augusta or back to the Opens and says he’ll never play there again but he recognises what it did for me, perhaps Ronaldo should deploy that same logic where he’s trying to help Manchester United to re-emerge out of the darkness rather than thinking what’s best for him.

    “In this instance I can’t see that the Middle Eastern guys would get a chance to own the English Premier League, I just don’t see the structure of that deal, but I do see them being able to throw endless amounts of money at high-profile footballers who are approaching the end of their careers.

    “Let them do it. Let them waste their money.”

    Source

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