Of recent, China has had a football boom which has not only seen players move to China and the Chinese Super League (CSL), but also go there for big money. The latest is AFCON 2017 sensation Christian Bassogog.
The question on everyone’s lips is why everyone is moving to China. What is so special about Chinese that everyone seems to be interested? Here are our seven reasons:
Attaining Football Super-power Status.
China, especially their President Xi Jinping is obsessed with the idea of building China into the world’s biggest sports economy. President Xi is a passionate football fan himself. By 2020, China will have 20,000 training centres and 70,000 pitches.
Poor Quality Local Talent
Locally groomed players in China are not just of poor quality, they are also expensive going for millions of dollars therefore the €50 million spent on a player like Alex Teixeira is not that much money.
Extremely Rich Tycoons
China is blessed with wealth businessmen who have decided to invest in the sport of football as a way of improving their political relations. To these businessmen, sports investment is political capital.
There is big TV money as well. For example, in 2016 the money from broadcast rights of the CSL increased by more than 20 times. In 2015, it was $9 million which rose to $200 million as part of a five season package of $1.25 billion.
Guangzhou Evergrande which started this spending spree five years ago have under world cup winning duo of Marcello Lippi and Fabio Cannavaro garnered five consecutive CSL titles and one Asian Champions league in 2013. So it works!
The money is Huge
The money Chinese clubs bring to the transfer market is crazy and way above the market value. Most clubs are startled by the offers that they just have to sell.
The Hand of the State
Besides the government wanting to build global sports prowess, the Chinese government is doing something uncommon, it is directly involved with some clubs. Shanghai SIPG and Shanghai Shenua are partly state-owned. So buying Oscar may as well be state policy!
Some big names in China right now: Gervinho, Alex Teixeira, Marcelo Lippi, Fabio Cannavaro, Oscar, Ramirez, Demba Ba, Paulinho, Graziano Pelle, Jackson Martinez.