By Arab News
A Saudi prince who owns four professional football clubs has splashed out nearly €3 million on a fifth.
Prince Abdullah bin Musaad is buying the French club Chateauroux, adding to his portfolio of Sheffield United in England’s Premier League, Beerschot in Belgium, India’s Kerala United and Al-Hilal United in the UAE.
“We have been interested in Chateauroux for some time, and negotiations have taken a long time,” Prince Abdullah said.
The prince is buying the club through his company, United World. Chief executive Abdallah Al-Ghamdi “saw the last game and reached an agreement with club officials and the board of directors,” the prince said.
French media have estimated that the deal is worth about €2.8 million, a bargain basement price in global football. “I think the amount is higher but I do not want to divulge it,” the prince said.
Chateauroux are currently propping up the French second division after only four wins from 28 games, but the prince is undaunted.
“The club’s position in the second division table is now very difficult, but I am optimistic about its future,” he said.
“When we buy a club, we have several objectives. To raise the level of the club, the facilities and the level of the team. The most important thing is to do it over time.
“I’m happy that we own clubs from three of the four countries that reached the semifinals of the last World Cup — England, Belgium and France.”
The prince is particularly delighted to be involved with a French club.
“When I invested in England and Belgium, I was happy. But for France, I have a special feeling because it’s a country that reminds me of childhood,” he said. “My memories are numerous and my brother Abdulrahman was born there.”