Saudi club president sends blunt message to Jordan Henderson after he quits Al Ettifaq

The President of Saudi Arabian club Al Ettifaq has released an official statement regarding Jordan Henderson after the summer signing left the club to join Ajax.

Henderson came under great scrutiny when he left Liverpool to join Steven Gerrard in the Saudi Pro League, as the 33-year-old had previously been involved in various pro-LGBTQ and inclusivity campaigns.

Acts of homosexuality are criminalized in Saudi Arabia, so when Henderson made the big money switch he was questioned by the public.

Speaking to Channel 4 in October, Henderson reiterated he wasn’t there simply for financial reasons and wanted to help drive change in the country.

“I think having someone like myself, with the values that I have, in Saudi Arabia is only a good thing. Before I went to Saudi people knew the groups I supported and helped in the past.”

Despite making it clear he had “no regrets” the England international agreed to terminate his contract to return to Europe and has since signed for Eredivisie side Ajax.

Henderson released a statement shortly after the confirmation of his departure, reading: “I’m sad to say that I will be leaving Al Ettifaq with immediate effect,” he wrote. “It wasn’t an easy decision but one that I feel is best for me and my family.”

The England international added: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the club and the fans for all the support during my time. I felt the love from day one. I’ll keep watching and hoping for your success. Good luck for the future.”

Since Ajax confirmed Henderson’s signing, the midfielder has broken an impressive shirt sales record.

His shirt is believed to have surpassed previous record-holders Dusan Tadic and Daley Blind, with ‘Henderson 6’ being sold more times within 24 hours than Tadic and Blind in a week.

Henderson signing for Ajax- credit- Ajax Football Club

Henderson made 17 starts for Al Ettifaq throughout his brief spell in the Saudi Pro League, scoring no goals but earning himself four assists.

The form of the club could have also made Henderson’s decison easier, as Gerrard’s men have failed to win since October and sit 8th in the league.

The President of the club, Samer Al Misehal, also broke his silence on Henderson’s departure by releasing a formal statement.

“Firstly, the club would like to thank Jordan for his efforts and wish him the best for his future endeavors,” Al Misehal said.

“We are always respectful of our players. The club and Jordan believe this quick decision, without any delay or further distraction, has been made for both the overall good of the club and for Jordan.”

Henderson’s move to Ajax will also be a major boost for his Euro 2024 hopes, as he looks to help turn around a rather underwhelming Ajax season so far.

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