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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has played down concerns that the Saudi Pro League could be a major threat to Premier League football. He spoke up about the issue amid growing concerns across Europe due to the high profile transfers that have been completed during the ongoing summer transfer window.

Europe is struggling to match Saudi Arabia's spending power

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was one of the first to raise concerns about the current situation, urging FIFA and UEFA to take action against the "threat" coming from the Middle East. He has reason to be concerned after losing Liverpool skipper and England vice-captain Jordan Henderson to Al-Ettifaq last month.

Henderson has now become the highest-paid England player, earning £700,000-a-week, which is four times more than what he was previously earning at Liverpool. His new salary is also three times more than England captain Harry Kane's salary at Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool also lost the Brazilian pair of Roberto Firminho and Fabinho to Saudi-based clubs this summer. Even striker Mohamed Salah is reportedly being targeted by Saudi Arabian clubs.

Meanwhile, former Chelsea star N'Golo Kante and former Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema both joined Saudi champions Al-Ittihad. A number of other players have made the move, and offers were made to the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric.

While not everyone has taken the bait, it is clear that the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in January has encouraged Saudi clubs to try to attract more superstars.

The offers are eye-watering to say the least, with most players being offered double up to quadruple what they could potentially earn even with Europe's biggest clubs.

Even though European clubs may have the resources, their hands are also tied by Financial Fair Play rules. This means that the playing field is completely lopsided in favour of Saudi Arabia, where many clubs are backed by the oil-rich state and the royal family.

Masters says there is no reason to be concerned

Despite the current situation, Masters thinks the Premier League will continue to be the top domestic football competition. "There's a whole load of other things that get people to want to buy into when supporting a club and sticking with them for life. And English football has all of the core ingredients - the rich history and tradition since 1888. The fact you've got a football club in every community," he said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

He said that it's not just about bringing in the big players and managers, but it is also about the "home and away support," which packs the stadiums. He thinks that is hard to replicate, although fans in Saudi Arabia are also some of the most passionate supporters of their own local clubs. This is only expected to intensify further with the big-name arrivals.

Masters says he is satisfied with the amount of global exposure that the Premier League enjoys, pointing out that massive investments through the years have led to the current status of the Premier league. "In the end football competitions need revenue to drive forward. You can't continue to invest ahead of revenue to have a successful competition," he said, throwing a little bit of shade at Saudi Arabia's massive spending.

He understands the Saudi Pro League goal of raising the profile of the competition, but he also thinks that it won't happen overnight. "They have spent €450m on 20-odd players, eight or nine of which have come from Premier League clubs - we are only at the start of something," he shared, before admitting that "it's something we have to keep an eye on."

Saudi Pro League has become a major talking point

The high profile transfers have put the spotlight on the Saudi Pro League, but it remains to be seen if the interest can be sustained. At the moment, it seems like they are going in the right direction, and Masters admitted that FIFA and UEFA should start thinking about ensuring a level playing field. However, he thinks it is not a pressing issue at the moment, at least not yet.

Meanwhile, despite proudly pointing out the global appeal of the Premier League, he has ruled out playing any matches in America in the near future. "The Premier League has come away from being a niche interest, like it was a decade ago. But I don't think we're really any nearer a game abroad. It's not part of current plans," he said.

Apart from games in the United States, some European federations have also been lured into playing matches in the Middle East. The Spanish Super Cup for example, is ironically being played in Saudi Arabia and not in Spain.