Big money transfer are nothing unusual in the world of football, but even by the crazy standard of the world’s most popular sport, the money that is being thrown by China is nuts! It is common knowledge that the Chinese President Xi Jinping is a huge football fan and he has been actively trying to promote and raise the standard of Chinese football.
That’s all good and well, but the bid to curry favour with the powers to be in China has made the clubs in the Chinese Super League crazy. I mean Guangzhou Evergrande paid €42 million for Jackson Martinez. Shanghai Shenhua paid $78.2 million for Carlos Tevez, and then gave him a salary of $762,000 a week. That’s a week!
Then there are rumours of another Chinese club offering Alexis Sánchez a £400,000-per-week offer, and yet another offering Real Madrid a £250m transfer for Cristiano Ronaldo. If Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is to be believed, that Chinese club was willing to pay Ronaldo a £85m annual salary.
Sorry but if the clubs in the Chinese Super League think buying foreign stars is the way to go to raise the football standard of China; they are wrong. Throwing money at foreign players is a short term fix that does nothing for the long-term health of football in the country. Simply put, you can’t buy success in international football. You need to throw money at the unsexy for that to happen. AKA, youth development and football academy! Just look at Bahrain and our own dear Singapore as prime examples.
I won’t fault players for taking the money and plying their trade in China. I mean I would if I’m offered those amounts of money, but fans of Chinese football need to rein in their expectations. These players will do nothing to raise the standard of their football.