China's richest man warns of splurge on football

China Inc's record burst of investment in global football could leave investors burnt, says China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, in the highest-profile warning yet on a US$4 billion ($5.4b) splurge since last year.

The chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group is himself a major sports investor, sponsoring the Chinese league and last year taking stakes in Spanish club Atletico Madrid and Swiss firm Infront Sports & Media AG.

Several smaller Chinese investors have also entered the European football arena.

Part of the lure is mammoth TV deals. The English Premier League - the world's richest - will see £8 billion ($14b) coming in over three years.

However, Wang warned: "It can give you influence, but it won't make you money. Every year, you're burning through cash - that is certain."

Recently, Chinese buyers have snapped up Italian giants Inter Milan and are said to be circling Liverpool. 
- Reuters.