Appointment of Gary Cook as President of the Saudi Professional League after Ronaldo joined Al-Nasr.
The Saudi League has appointed former Manchester City CEO Gary Cook as president of the Saudi Professional League as part of an effort to capitalize on commercial opportunities created by Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in the kingdom.
And the Saudi League said today, Monday, in a statement that Gary Cook, CEO of sportswear company Nike before joining Manchester City in 2008, will become CEO of the Saudi Pro League.
Saudi Arabian Football League chief Abdulaziz Al Afalek said in a statement that after world football star Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabia’s victory, the world’s attention will be directed to Saudi football, indicating that the goal is to push commercial teams and strengthen the financial position of the Saudi league and clubs.
For his part, Cooke said in a statement: “I was warmly welcomed in Riyadh and I look forward to immediately starting work on our goal of making Saudi football the driving force behind the global game.”
Cook joined Manchester City before the club was taken over by new parties from Abu Dhabi. He stayed there for three years and helped lay the groundwork for the club’s first Premier League title in 44 years.
Cooke left Manchester City at the start of the 2011–12 season following a dispute over an email sent to the player’s mother.
Notably, Ronaldo signed a contract at the end of December last year that would keep him with Saudi Arabian club Al Nasr until June 2025, making him the highest paid player in football history.