Simon Jordan called out Saudi Pro League director of football over spending in heated debate live on talkSPORT
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Simon Jordan got into it with Saudi Pro League director of football Michael Emenalo over the league's mammoth spending spree this summer.
Clubs in Saudi Arabia have splashed the cash, with City AM reporting that they spent more than any other league aside form the Premier League prior to the window shutting on Thursday.
The business from Saudi sides has completely destroyed the transfer market, with the majority of the big-money deals involving Al Ittihad, Al Hilal, Al Nassr and Ah Ahli - who are all backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
After Cristiano Ronaldo set the precedent in December, a slew of high-profile stars are now plying their trade in Saudi, including Neymar, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, N'Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson and Marcelo Brozovic.
Mo Salah is also a huge target and another eye-watering bid from Al Ittihad is expected.
The man overseeing it all is former Chelsea and Monaco chief Emenalo, who is on a mission to create "a league for exceptional players only".
But the former Nigeria international was given a grilling from former Crystal Palace owner Jordan live on talkSPORT as the pair clashed over Saudi "throwing money" around.
👀 𝗝𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗮𝗻: “Are you going to start operating responsibly? Or keep spending money?!”— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 8, 2023
❌ 𝗘𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗼: “I reject the insinuation we’re ‘throwing money at it’. It’s well thought out!”
Simon Jordan goes up against the Saudi Pro League Director of Football over spending. pic.twitter.com/uGSweMqnd7
Asked about whether the league will start "operating responsibly" or continue to "spend money like it's going out of fashion, Emenalo said: "I reject the insinuation that this is a "throwing money at it" process. This is a well thought-out and planned process that has been in the offing for a very long time.
"The intention has always been to adhere to whatever the mandate of world football as you put it."
Jordan accused Saudi of "driving a bus through salaries" and "turning it on its head", to which the former Notts County man replied: "No I don't think that's true. I think it's only true in the sense that it's always been the case.
"When people made their journeys to the Serie A years back in the 90s, it was because there was some economic incentive but also with those economic incentives comes a realisation that the levels, ambitions and qualities will ultimately improve."
Emenalo also denied talk of Saudi clubs potentially featuring in the Champions League in the future, stating: "I don’t know where that’s come from!. It’s not something that I’ve been privy to, either as part of a discussion or a plan."
According to The Telegraph, European clubs will call for FIFA to impose new regulations on Saudi sides given their seemingly unlimited transfer and wage budgets.
Leading clubs met in behind-closed-doors talks at the European Club Association (ECA) general assembly on Wednesday.