Friday, March 23, 2018

Chinese rising no different to the Premier League

Oscar is set to to leave Chelsea in January to join Chinese club Shanghai SIPG for £60million

Oscar is set to to leave Chelsea in January to join Chinese club Shanghai SIPG for £60million

At first sight, the amount of money being spent by the clubs in the Chinese Super League looks ridiculous.

Over the last year, Chinese clubs have been throwing money around like there’s no tomorrow.

Brazilian playmaker Oscar will move to Shanghai SIPG for £60million when the transfer window opens.

Former Juventus striker Carlos Tevez has also just joined SIPG’s city rivals Shanghai Shenhua on a contract that is reportedly earning the striker £610,000 per week.

Money is ridiculous but it’s all relative

The massive money spent by these Far East clubs seems ridiculous. However, that’s how the English Premier League was built in the first place. Its transformation from the English First Division to the Premier League was financially motivated move by the clubs to bring in more revenue.

In the process, wages and transfer fees in the English top-flight went up. Eventually, the spending made the Premier League the most lucrative football league in the world. The fees were bigger and wages were bigger than the other major European leagues.

Only the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich could compete with the financial power of the English clubs. The two Spanish giants regularly splash out major fees on players. However, the teams below very rarely spend big, as they do not have the same financial resources available to them.

As one of the leading figures in Chinese football recently stated the only way that the CSL can attract players is by offering them massive wages packets. This is because the Chinese Super League is a developing league and cannot compete with the likes of the Premier League.

Raising the profile of the league

When a league is attempting to establish itself as a force usually that means raising the profile and quality of the whole competition. In most cases that also means bringing in big-name foreign players, just as the Premier League did in its early stages.

The MLS has attempted to use the same model, with mixed results so far. There is a slight difference between the MLS and the Chinese Super League in the fact that the Chinese people actually already seem to have a passion for football.

In America, the MLS are attempting to bring new fans into the game. Whereas in China there are already millions of football fans who watch the likes of the Premier League on television.

What the Chinese clubs are attempting to do is bring some of the players that Chinese fans have watched on the television to their own clubs. This will mean the league growing and the popularity of the local clubs. This steal some of the foreign league’s limelight for the average Chinese football fan.

New stars brought in to encourage more participation

It seems to be the general consensus that the problem for China is that not enough people play football. A lack of facilities and the countries general culture has prevented the game developing.

A lack of space to build stadiums and training facilities has been cited as a major obstacle to people playing football in China. Competition from the likes of Basketball, Badminton and table tennis are also things that may hinder the development of football in China.

The Chinese Super League’s tactic of attempting to buy success through bringing in big money foreign players may work. It may also follow the same route as the MLS,  by slowly making progress.

However, the way the league has started bringing in big name players is definitely reminiscent of the early stages of the Premier League. It is just on a far bigger financial scale. Just look at how successful the Premier League is now throughout the world.

All those people claiming that the Chinese big money spending could ruin the game, should have a look closer to home and realise that was what the Premier League foundations was built on. To this day English top-flight clubs are still spending big in an attempt to be more successful.

Can the Chinese Super League become a success in the near future?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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