The Grey Neutral: The northern soul is hurting

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

Football Media Watch: City PR battle may be a sign of change in China

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

Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs

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

The Chinese way ahead

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

Fierce ambition puts China at the top of the league

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

You’ll have to come a long way, baby: Chinese football and power

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

Oscar and China: Can you really blame him?

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?

UEFA’s China Crisis

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

Inter are living in interesting times

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

Eastern promise: Could China’s appetite include non-league?

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?

Here to stay – China’s interest in European football

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL markets can expect continued interest from cash-rich Chinese investors, according to a new report from KPMG’s Football Benchmark. Chinese clubs spent heavily in the last transfer window, raising eyebrows as they took some big name players back to the Chinese Super League. As KPMG points out, more than EUR 300m was spent on the likes of Ramires, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Jackson Martinez and Alex … Continue reading Here to stay – China’s interest in European football

Football and the China syndrome

CHINA has dominated the news since the turn of the year. The world’s latest superpower has been stuttering on the economic front, providing one of the catalysts for a possible global downturn. From a football perspective, the recent behaviour of China’s clubs has also attracted attention, and perhaps pointed the way forward to a new world order in the game. China is desperate to become … Continue reading Football and the China syndrome