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Saudi royal eyes A-league investment

Billionaire Prince Turki bin Faisal, a member of the Saudi royal family, is interested in investing some of his fortune in the Australian A-League - though it is not yet clear whether he wishes to buy a club.

A spokesman of Prince Faisal claimed he is "very serious" about injecting some much-needed cash into the league, which has suffered financially since its inception in 2004.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Prince Faisal has appointed Australian-based consultant Tony Rallis to open a dialogue with Football Federation Australia (FFA), though the governing body has thus far refused to deal with him, insisting they want direct dialogue with the Saudi royal.

Prince Faisal is currently the president of Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr and the club's vice president Amer al-Selham is hopeful that the five-time champions and Saudi football in general will reap the rewards of any future partnership with the A-League.

''We think Australia is a green field for us,'' he said. ''There are many A-League players going out to Europe and to Asia, and for us that means there could be many opportunities. We want to change the way we do things here.

"In Saudi football, in fact in the whole Gulf area, clubs spend a lot of money on foreigners. We are interested in investing in these players instead of just spending on them. We are very serious about this, we would like to try to do joint ventures with the A-League, and we believe there could be mutual benefits for both clubs.''

The Saudi royal family were rumoured to be weighing up a bid for Liverpool, after Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah was seen at Anfield with former co-owner George Gillett.

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