Football

Chinese clubs warned over 'headstrong' spending

China's state media warned a "bubble" had developed in Chinese football yesterday after spending topped 8 billion yuan (S$1.66b) this year.

Chelsea's Oscar and Argentine forward Carlos Tevez were the latest players linked with the deep-pocketed Chinese Super League this week as clubs look set to extend their lavish spree.

The influential People's Daily urged clubs to control their "headstrong" spending, which follows official decrees that China should become a global football superpower.

While there is "no reason to restrict capital" in the Chinese Super League, clubs must have focus and discipline on spending for the sake of their own long-term health, an article in the Communist Party mouthpiece said.

It said that the 8 billion yuan spent this year was a sum which "far exceeded the economic value brought to the league".

The explosive growth in football investments is a "bubble" given the slower growth in ticket and licensed product sales, the article added.

Chinese firms have spent freely this year on foreign football clubs, players, and broadcasting rights in an effort to diversify their businesses and aid Chinese President Xi Jinping's dream of making China into a global centre of gravity for the sport.

Chinese Super League clubs smashed the Asian record four times in the January-February window.

Shanghai SIPG are reported to be on the verge of breaking the record again with a £60 million transfer (S$108m) swoop for Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar.

Reports on Thursday said that Tevez, 33, could pocket 40 million euros (S$60.3m) a season - 20 times what he currently earns at Boca Juniors - in a two-year deal with Shanghai Shenhua.

Last month, Suning Holdings secured the Chinese broadcast rights of the EPL for a reported US$650m over three years, in what would be a 12-fold increase on the current deal. - AFP

FootballChina