LONDON: Former head of the Saudi Pro League Musalli Al-Muammar is in line to become the next president of Al-Nassr after officially announcing his candidacy at the end of a week that saw the club’s board of directors disbanded.
While a number of candidates had expressed interest in the vacant position, Al-Muanmar is the preferred choice of Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz, who has provided support to the nine-time Saudi Arabia Champions.
“Upon the desire of His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz, and the golden members [of the Al-Nassr board], I decided to present my nomination papers to the chairmanship of the board of directors of Al Nasr Club,” Al-Muammar announced on social media.
“Serving Saudi sports through the majestic institution that is Al-Nassr Club is a great honor for me.”
With no other candidates declaring their interest in the position before the deadline expired at 9p.m. on Friday evening Riyadh time, it is expected that Al-Muammar will be appointed unopposed with the official announcement to come, at the latest, by April 1.
Al-Muammar, a former sports analyst at Al Arabiya News Channel, became president of the Saudi Pro League in March 2018 and stepped down in January 2020 after earning praise for his administration skills.
The position is vacant after Sunday’s decision by the Saudi Ministry of Sports to disband Al-Nassr’s board of directors and remove Safwan Al-Suwaiket from his post as president which he started in October 2019.
The ministry said that, on March 9, it had received a complaint from one member on how Al-Nassr, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest clubs, was run.
After carrying out what it said were thorough investigations, the ministry announced finding six irregularities.
“The club president exceeded his statutory powers, by taking individual decisions without taking into account the necessary legal procedures,” the ministry said on social media.
“He also signed bank checks that had no financial consideration in the club’s account, which led to the club being subjected to legal claims.”
As well as Al-Suwaiket overstepping his authority, other violations included a failure to deal with resignations in the usual manner, the club running a budget deficit that was outside the parameters set by sporting authorities, publishing official decisions without holding meetings to discuss them, and the president failing to respond to the ministry’s request for documentation.
Al-Suwaiket was replaced temporarily by Abdullah Al-Dakhil who had recently resigned as board member in protest at the running of the club.
The window for candidates to apply opened on Monday.
The following day Muqrin al-Muqrin, the head of the Saudi Badminton Federation, said he was thinking about whether he would put his name forward but announced Thursday that he had no plans to do so.
“My best wishes for all the candidates for the presidency of Al-Nasr Club are good luck and continue my presidency of the Saudi Badminton Federation,” Al-Muqrin said.
Assuming that everything processes as planned, Al-Muammar’s first decision will be to select a number of board members to help run the club before trying to move the operation of Al-Nassr onto a more professional footing.
He will need all his administrative know how in order to do so. It has been a chaotic season for the nine-time Saudi champions on and off the pitch, with the club making headlines for the wrong reasons.
In February, Al-Nassr, currently fifth in the league with six games of the season remaining, was hit with a three-window transfer ban by FIFA after failing to pay Galatasaray the required transfer fee for Brazilian star Maicon Pereria Roque.
Later that same month, the club became involved in a racism row after an altercation between Hussein Abdulghani, a member of Al-Nassr’s coaching staff, and Al-Shabab’s Brazilian winger Sebastian Junior in a league game.
That was under the old regime but Al-Nassr is about to come under new management.