The million-dollar question on a lot of gamers' minds is whether Football Manager 2024 will have the Saudi Pro League. This is because the beautiful game is changing. You only have to look at the ongoing wave of high-profile player transfers from European leagues to Saudi Arabia to see what’s going on.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Al Nassr seems to have paved the way for other stars to seek out a lucrative payday in the gulf nation, including the likes of Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino, and N'Golo Kante.
With attention slowly turning towards the next instalment of the Football Manager series many people are wondering whether the sudden influx of famous players will be enough of an influence to have the Sports Interactive include the Saudi Pro League as a playable competition in Football Manager 2024.
Will Football Manager 2024 have the Saudi Pro League?
There is certainly a compelling argument to have Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Pro League added to the game’s competition database.
After all, if the nation continues to attract some of the world’s top professional footballers to play in their league, then external pressure will mount on Sports Interactive to appease their fanbase.
However, back in 2018, one of Sports Interactive’s forum administrators happened to communicate the video game company’s stance regarding the addition of more playable leagues to the game.
Here’s what they had to say:
“Currently there are no plans to add any further leagues and in part that is down to the difficulties getting accurate research from some leagues and the potential lack of interest in playing that league"
Source – SI Games Community Forum
Based on that statement, the Saudi Pro League will not be included in the upcoming release of Football Manager 2024, as there hasn’t been any official communication from the company since that point to suggest otherwise.
The forum administrator also added a separate point that sales of the game in the particular country where the league exists would need to be substantial enough for the company to consider it worth their while.
What this means is that even though big stars are securing moves to teams in the Saudi league’s top division, that particular factor in and of itself may not be enough to convince Sports Interactive.
If you think about it logically, the decision does make a little bit of sense. Simply put, there’d be little to no point in allocating significant resources to getting accurate research for players and coaches for Saudi teams, if the league barely gets played by Saudi Arabia’s own inhabitants.
Another point to note is that even if Sports Interactive really wanted to add the league and were willing to pay however much money is needed for the license, it would probably take quite a bit of time to develop a fully comprehensive database for players and staff.
Completing this task in a couple of months while also working on other features of the game seems very unlikely to be achieved within such a time frame.
Perhaps this league would be more likely to feature in Football Manager 2025.
Is the Saudi Pro League in FM23?
No, Football Manager 2023 does not have an official Saudi database. However, players can add this league to their own save games via unofficial means.
Currently, an unofficial Saudi database can be downloaded on Steam.
It contains the top two divisions – Saudi Professional League and First Division League – as well as both currently active cup competitions, with the World Cup break added in as a bonus (first season only).
The league grows to 18 teams in 2023 as planned, and the competition schedule also accommodates the African Champions League, Gulf Cup along with other international breaks.
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