THERE’S LITTLE doubt that China’s most high-profile and successful club is Ghangzhou Evergrande Taobao, who lifted their eighth Chinese Super League title at the start of December 2019. Ghangzhou are not only China’s most celebrated club, they are arguably the noisiest across the Asia Pacific region. The 16th Chinese Super League championship race was a tense, problematical affair, probably the hardest title win Ghangzhou have … Continue reading Another title, now Ghangzhou look ahead to the opportunity of 2021
JUST how much control should an employer have on its employees when it comes to their viewpoints, opinions or feelings? Mesut Özil spoke out on social media about the plight of Muslims in China and his employer, Arsenal, felt moved to distance themselves from his twitter posting. At the same time, Arsenal claimed they were apolitical. Arsenal were, in effect, doing what most companies with … Continue reading The hypocrisy of the Özil saga
HOW the Class of 92 must be wishing they bought Bury instead of Salford! Interesting that Phil Neville has been pleading for Bury to be saved, a club that has strong links to his family. Like so many cases, it is only when a crisis comes that people really start to rally behind the stricken club. It’s the Woolworths syndrome, with everyone getting emotional about … Continue reading The Grey Neutral: The northern soul is hurting
MANCHESTER CITY, the club that turned almost everything they touched to gold last term, may not look back on their pre-season trip to China with too much relish. For some reason, the Chinese state-run news agency, Xinhua, felt moved to accuse the club of showing disrespect to local fans as well as discrimination to the Chinese media. Interestingly, criticism of City comes at a time … Continue reading Football Media Watch: City PR battle may be a sign of change in China
FOOTBALL’s principal emerging nations, the US and China, have almost arrived, with the top divisions of their leagues in the top 10 in terms of spectator interest. According to CIES Football Observatory’s latest report, China and the US are sixth and eighth respectively over the past five years by average crowds. The German Bundesliga has an average of 43,302 with the English Premier second-placed on … Continue reading Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs
IT IS a reasonable bet to assume that a Chinese team could win the Asian Champions League this season. Three clubs from the Chinese Super League reached the last 16 of the and one team from the world’s fastest-growing football league is guaranteed to be in the semi-finals as Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande will meet in the last eight of the competition. China is … Continue reading The Chinese way ahead
CHINESE outbound corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) may be set to cool this year but in the football world, China has the fattest wallet when it comes to buying into clubs. As another English club – Southampton – is poised to be bought by a Chinese company, ThinkingLinking, a UK-based cross-border M&A company reveals that between 2012 and 2014, China was involved in over EUR … Continue reading Fierce ambition puts China at the top of the league
THEY may be spending Yuan by the bucketful and interest in the game is at an all-time high, but can Chinese football clubs really challenge the European leviathans? With Deloitte’s latest Football Money League released this week, the professional services group is preparing the way for an insurgence of new money breaking into the top 30 in the future. It may be a little premature, … Continue reading You’ll have to come a long way, baby: Chinese football and power
IF THERE is any nationality of footballer that epitomises “have boots, will travel”, it is surely the Brazilian. They are everywhere – no matter where you go, you’ll find them in the squad, sometimes in some unusual places. As 2017 looms on the horizon, Chinese clubs may be about to add to the already lengthy list of Brazilians plying their trade in the Chinese Super … Continue reading Oscar and China: Can you really blame him?
IT HURTS clubs like Inter, AC Milan, Liverpool and Manchester United to be excluded from the UEFA Champions League, especially in this age of bloated elitism. There was a time when you had to earn a place in UEFA’s leading club competitions, either by winning your domestic league or cup or, if you finished second or third, you might get a UEFA Cup berth. But … Continue reading UEFA’s China Crisis
JUST a few weeks after Inter Milan received a major investment from China, AC Milan are poised to become the latest European club to cast their eyes to the far east. Controversial owner Silvio Berlusconi announced that he has sold AC Milan to a Chinese consortium in a deal that will see the new owners pay at least EUR 400m over the next two years, … Continue reading All set for the San-Sino?
ITALY needs a competitor to Juventus. It has been five long years of Turin dominance and Italy’s other football power base, Milan, has slowly sunk into mediocrity. Italy and UEFA needs clubs like AC Milan and Inter to regain their strength. In the black and blue side of Milan, it may be about to happen. In the era of super clubs, Inter have fallen away … Continue reading Inter are living in interesting times
A FEW years back, Stockport County received a delegation of Chinese businessmen interested in investing in English football. This unlikely alliance resulted in a club in China being named after the “the hatters”, Stockport Tiger Star, based in Shanyang. It was a taste of things to come as China is now buying into English and European football in a big way. The recent transfer market … Continue reading Eastern promise: Could China’s appetite include non-league?