Chinese football is certainly stealing all the headlines recently, but will all this nonsense soon be over?
With the league beginning in March, there are now a number of rules in place to, let’s say, ‘level the playing field’. Chinese Super League clubs are now only allowed to play three non-Chinese players per game, with two under 23 players from China in their match day squad.
Football over there has taken some perhaps justified abuse, trying to take over the world and all that, but maybe they deserve a little respect after this recent turn of events. Their initial aim was to improve football in the country, but this involved literally taking some of the best players around the world and giving them as much money as possible. Seriously, Carlos Tevez probably earned more in his first week in China than he did in his entire career elsewhere (and he played for Man City). However if these rules are followed strictly, maybe then we’ll see our stars stay in Europe for another couple of years at least.
Luckily enough most clubs will be safe for the time being, but unfortunately and rather hilariously for Shanghai Shenhua, they have six non-Chinese players in their squad. They have a big decision to make within the next couple of months of who to keep and who to let go. And so it doesn’t look quite so pretty for Demba Ba and Obafemi Martins, who need to impress quickly to fill the sought-after space of Carlos Tevez’s strike partner.
And that is no different than for our very own Diego Costa. Sure, most of the Premier League would love to see the back of him, but there are a select few who feel he should stay in England and continue to entertain the British public for another year.
The Chinese Football Association certainly haven’t hid from the spotlight, but if ‘signature fees and other illegal activities’ are closely monitored then maybe (just maybe) we may even start to respect our Asian counterparts. Let’s face it, they’ve already taken one of the all-time Premier League greats in John Obi Mikel, so it’s about time they backed off the rest of our tremendous talent.
Can we just pause for a minute and look what is actually happening in the footballing world that we love so much? Costa’s potential move is worth £30m a year, while his potential buyer Tianjin Quanjian will splash out more than £15m a year for Axel Witsel. And some players who have already made the journey say it isn’t about the money…
Who knows just how significant or lengthy these rule changes will turn out to be. Only the Chinese FA know how important this new step is, and world football is now safe for the time being. We can hold on to the likes of Messi and Ronaldo for the time being, maybe even Crouch and Walters are safe and sound in Stoke, so gladly not all doom and gloom.