Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 16:38 | By Yutang Sports
As the Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) prepares for the new season, some clubs have engaged in an arms race -- scrambling for good foreign players with a breathtakingly high price.
Money is not enough
An appropriate increase in investment, such as bringing in suitable foreign players, will strengthen teams, improve the public image of clubs and invigorate the whole football market. But excessive expenditure on players will do harm to the long-term development of clubs without a steady source of income.
The rapid increase of investment in clubs over recent years has proved helpful in reinvigorating the league, which should serve as a platform beneficial to the growth of domestic players, as well as a stage for top foreign players. If foreign players are brought in at the price of squeezing the development of domestic players, or the large investment leads to a bubble in the transfer market, the further development of Chinese football will be disrupted, which is against the original intention of the league.
Investment in youth training is worthwhile
Long-term development of Chinese football should be based on the youth, which requires regulation & innovation and a strong determination and perseverance to develop a long-term resilience.
It is the Chinese Football Association (CFA) that should play a leading role in the long-term investment in youth training, including finishing the overdue work. Currently, games organized by the CFA lag far behind their CSL counterparts in both facilities and services. In contrast, youth training in Germany and Japan is mainly carried out by their football associations. This measure in accordance with the rules of football should not only be accepted in theory, but also be put into action. Patience and confidence are required.
Players are the foundation for the prosperity of a professional league. Good players are acquired through both the purchase of foreign players and the development of domestic players. The balance and interaction between the two approaches is fundamental to the sustainable development of our league.
Favorable ecology should be developed for the future
Similar phenomena once occurred in the so-called “5 European Leagues” several years ago. In response, the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) managed to maintain the health and stability of those leagues through the policy of “financial equity.” In recent years, even the UK, with the most open attitude towards capital and foreign players, has been confronted with the question of how to create a bright future for its domestic players through the league. For Chinese football, with the inability to guarantee a steady stream of good players, a bubble in the transfer market will do more harm to future development of the league as a whole. A healthy football ecology requires coordinated work by the CFA, clubs and other parties in the sports industry chain, as well as scientific and reasonable industry regulations.
Professional football is a business and football has its own culture. At the initial stage in the development of modern day football, the club was usually a bond connecting the whole community. This kind of community-based football culture has never changed in over a century. For Chinese football, which came into existence at a later stage, to bring in foreign players with excessively high prices can never be a permanent solution. It is the foundation - our own league with favorable football ecology - that should be given more attention to ensure the stable long-term development of Chinese football.
Proofread by Sean O Diobhilin