China spends big on new Super League football season

World Today

China’s football league season has opened and expectations are high. Hundreds of millions were poured into the sport to bring over some of the world’s best players, but it’s left some wondering what price China really paid.

CGTN America’s John Metherell reports.

China spends big on new Super League football season

China's football league season has opened and expectations are high. Hundreds of millions were poured into the sport to bring over some of the world's best players, but it's left some wondering what price China really paid. CGTN America's John Metherell reports.

Some of Shanghai SIPG’s key signings have demonstrated in a pre-season friendly match why they’re among the world’s most coveted players. They’ve moved to China’s Super League while still in their prime.

They were attracted by the unprecedented spending on foreign talent, amounting to $406 million. That’s more than any of Europe’s big leagues.

Even so, there are concerns about the sustainability of the unprecedented investments. Authorities capped the number of foreign players on a squad, partly to cap excessive spending.

They’re also worried about squeezing out home grown players under pressure to win the World Cup for their country by 2050. It’s unlikely the Chinese national team will make next year’s tournament.

Experts say the key to turning Chinese football into a global brand like top European leagues is simply success on the field.

“It would be very helpful to China if one of the clubs left in the Asian Champions League actually wins the champions league’ Professor of Sports Enterprise at Salford University Simon Chadwick said. ‘My view is that if China can get two clubs in the final four of the Asian Champions League, that will do a great deal internationally for building fan engagement.”


James Montague of Bleacher Report on China Super League

CGTN America’s Susan Roberts interviewed James Montague, a writer with the sports website Bleacher Report, on the football potential of the China Super League.