Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 19:17 | By Lanxiong, translation by Yutang Sports
On January 10, Chinese national football team beat Saudi Arabia 1 to 0 at their first game during this AFC Asian Cup, which was quite unexpected for many media and fans. ESPN had predicted that the Chinese national team would be at the bottom during the group phase, and the newest ranking by FIFA also shows that the Chinese team is unlikely to achieve good result: the Chinese team was 96th in the world and the 9th in Asia.
However, it does not affect the present prosperity of football in China at all.According to latest news, China Football Association Super League Company share holders meeting was held in Chongqing on Jan. 7. Chongqing Morning Post reported that in 2014 the Chinese Super League (CSL) gained RMB 250 million revenue, which would mean RMB 12 million for each club.
This has made history. The highest record before this was made in 2013, when every club gained 5 million yuan. The average has been around 2 million yuan since CSL was born in 2004, with 2005 being an exception when two strikes led to 500,000 yuan for each club and 2008 when fraud scandals affected the revenue.
However, the situation has turned well for CSL.
In China, more and more fans would still support the national team, but they are more supporters for their local teams. Fans in cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Jiangsu and others treat their local teams as part of their faiths.
CSL has become the best league in Asia. In 2013 season, the average attendance for each game was 18,600, being not only the NO.1 in Asia, but also among top 10 in the world. Another data is that there were as many as 360 million people watching CSL in only the 2013 season.
In terms of investment, during the winter transfer window at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, clubs spent 360 million yuan in association with relegation alone. This is just less than English Premier League, Ligue 1, and Serie A, ranked the 4th place in the world.
Liu Weihua, a player agent of FIFA, said that CSL would become more disciplined and the market would get better and better. But not everybody was as optimistic. Some thinks that Guangzhou Evergrande FC has turned Chinese football into money football where most of the clubs couldn’t get profits.
Another problem was that the Chinese football lack culture and heritage. The coach of Evergrande FC Lippi said it last year in an interview.
This is an abridged version of the original article.