Steven Gerrard Reveals Why He Chose Saudi Arabia Over Premier League Offers
Steven Gerrard Reveals Why H...
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Steven Gerrard Reveals Why He Chose Saudi Arabia Over Premier League Offers

29 May 2024
2 min.
Steven Gerrard Reveals Why He Chose Saudi Arabia Over Premier League Offers

Gerrard Opens Up

Steven Gerrard has claimed that his move to Saudi Arabia wasn’t totally motivated by money, though he admits it did play a factor.

The former Liverpool star has been in charge of Al-Ettifaq since July last year. He was appointed as the club’s head coach following a disappointing spell with Aston Villa.

Gerrard had previously earned his managerial stripes with Scottish side Rangers, even ending the club’s long wait for a Premiership title. After a difficult period with Aston Villa, he swapped the Premier League for the Middle East, with critics suggesting his decision was financially motivated.

However, Gerrard, who reportedly earns £15 million per year, denies that money was the primary motivator. Speaking to The Telegraph, the 43-year-old said:

“I was financially secure a long time ago. So, I would not come to Saudi for money. Was it part of it? Yes. Was it the only thing that made me do it? One million per cent, no.”

Gerrard’s first season with Al-Ettifaq was a rollercoaster. The team finished sixth in the league, winning just 12 of their 34 games and ending 48 points behind the title winners.

Reports suggest that Gerrard turned down offers from two struggling Premier League sides in favor of Al-Ettifaq to rebuild his reputation. He explained:

“For example, I was offered the chance to go back into the Premier League late on, where a team had very little time to go, where a team needed to have that lift and that reaction. But if I didn’t get that reaction and they went down it would have felt like another blow on the back of Villa.”

Gerrard welcomed a number of familiar faces to Saudi Arabia during his debut season. Among the notable names to join Al-Ettifaq were former Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum, as well as Demarai Gray, Moussa Dembele, and Seko Fofana. Additionally, ex-Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg also moved to Saudi Arabia.

Should the club continue investing, Gerrard believes he could help the league establish itself on the world stage. He said:

“There are no guarantees but I believe with time, support, and with the same people being on the same page, I’ve experienced it before. I have the confidence and belief that I can build something and make a difference.”

Gerrard is expected to lead the club next season. His contract, which was extended by two years in January, is set to run until 2027.

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