How Chinese League is threatening to overturn European football?


It seems as if a new kid has stepped up the field that is luring away European targets and is investing money in aplenty without any hesitation. The new kid is none other than the Chinese Super League, and the initial results have been pretty impressive.

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, talents like Jackson Martinez, Alex Teixeira and Ramires have all moved to the Chinese Super League for a combined total of £90 million.

Chinese Super League vs European Football

Alex Teixeira is the latest high-profile player who gave up European football in order to play for Jiangsu Sunning for an Asian record of £38 million. It is quite challenging for the Premier League as he was the biggest January target for Liverpool and Chelsea.

It was also being rumored that a bid of £75 million was made to lure away Oscar, the Brazilian prospect, but stood rejected.

But what is actually the reason that European stars are flocking to China? Let us take a detailed look:


In a nutshell: because the state wants it to

Xi Jinping, the president of China has encouraged the Chinese clubs to spend as much as they can on signings so as to transform the Chinese Super league into one of the world’s best league.

It is being believed that he, himself is a great football fan, but is fed up of the country’s failure to develop as a sporting nation.

The Guardian claims that they are getting money from China’s extremely wealthy businessmen who invest in sport to improve the political relations.

It is also being reported that there has been a severe change in the grassroots football levels in China after the president visited Manchester City’s training ground, as he wants to underline his commitment to football.

Why they are already a threat to European leagues?

Jiangsu’s £38 million Alex Teixeira recruitment clearly demarcated what do they actually want.

They have already recruited a number of premier league targets, in fact players –

  • Alex Teixeira, Jiangsu Suning, £38m
  • Jackson Martinez, Guangzhou Evergrande, £31m
  • Ramirez, Jiangsu Sunins, £20m
  • Gervinho, Hebei China Fortune, £11m
  • Asamoah Gyan, Shanghai SIPG, Undisclosed
  • Paulinho, Guangzhou Evergrande, £10m
  • Demba Ba, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, £11m
  • Tim Cahill, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, Free

Chinese Super League vs European Football

However, Chinese Super League teams have spent £194.2million in total – almost £20million more than the collective outlay of Premier League clubs. Whether it’s a threat or a revolution, is yet to be finalized.

A couple of big names have already moved to the Chinese Super league and it should not be much of a surprise if we see players like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo moving there in the near future, once they cross 30.

What else do they want?

Probably, one of the biggest names to be linked with China is Wayne Rooney.

According to Daily Mail, Manchester United received a £25 million offer based on Wayne Rooney to join Shanghai SIPG, but stood rejected.

Another speculation has been regarding Oscar, where The Telegraph reported a £75 million bid by Jiangsu.

Fernando Torres will become the highest paid player in the world if he moves to China soon enough.

Not only players, but tactical masterminds like Jose Mourinho are also willing to play a major role in China’s football.

Will the bubble finally burst?

China’s economy is the second biggest in the world and of course; they are having money in abundance.

Yes, it’s surely a boom in its early days, but, if the businessmen don’t get their expected returns, or if the signings flop anyhow, the bubble will burst rather soon.

Having said that, The Chinese Super League should be taken seriously as a major force in football.

How are the experts receiving it?

Arsenal’s manager, Arsène Wenger believes that if China continues to spend such vast amounts of money on football, it will have a major effect on player’s fees and market value, and gradually, not only the English clubs, but all the European clubs will have to raise their financial standard.

Further, he added that if China can offer a lump-sum amount of £75 million to lure away a Brazilian prospect, they are at the front foot of a footballing revolution.

Image credit: getty