Doubts over Martin Boyle's Saudi adventure after former Hibs star suffers relegation

Martin Boyle’s Middle East adventure has suffered a significant setback after Al-Faisaly were relegated from the Saudi top flight.

By Craig Fowler
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 11:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 11:21 am

The ex-Hibs winger was hooked during the second half of the final league game of the season as Al-Faisaly were defeated 2-1 by defending champions Al Hilal, who captured another title thanks to the win.

Boyle’s side needed a point to survive but were beaten thanks to a double from ex-Watford striker Odion Ighalo. With three sides dropping out of the 16-team Pro League table, Al-Faisaly were relegated thanks to an inferior head-to-head record with Al-Batin, who they narrowly bettered on goal difference.

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on Boyle’s future. While there has yet been no mention of any relegation-release clause in the 29-year-old’s contract, Al-Faisaly could still be looking to cut costs on one of their higher earners. The Australian international may also wish to play at a higher standard in order to preserve his place in his adopted nation’s squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this winter.

Martin Boyle moved from Hibs to Saudi side Al-Faisaly earlier this year. Picture: SNS

Hibs hold a buy-back clause for their former star. This means they must be notified if any other British side tables an offer for Boyle, which will then give Hibs the ability to match it. Boyle said upon leaving Easter Road that he would like to return to the club in future.

The Aberdonian moved across to the Middle East to secure life-changing money for himself and his young family with his wage reported at £1.5 million per year.

Ex-Hearts defender Igor Rossi also suffered relegation with Al-Faisaly, coming on as substitute in the final day defeat.

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