The fall of the shabby Chinese Super League, the distant future of Saudi Arabia?

Many people say that China is reminded of Saudi Arabia’s recent attraction of European soccer stars with oil money. Just a few years ago, the Chinese Super League emerged as a stage where the best players played thanks to investments from many companies, but now it has been reduced to the periphery of East Asia.

British broadcaster “BBC” pointed out the brilliant past and disastrous present of the Chinese Super League in the form of a repo in an article titled “Chinese Super League: From Bale Bidding to Team Bus Sales” on the 28th. The heyday of the Chinese Super League was literally Eldorado itself.

When Hulk (37), a former goaltender of the Brazilian national team, joined Shanghai Sanggang in 2016, he was guaranteed 320,000 pounds (about 520 million won). Oscar (32), who left Chelsea in the English Premier League and joined the same team a half year later, went even further and received 400,000 pounds (about 650 million won). This is almost double the amount that Son Heung-min (31), Korea’s proud “captain,” receives.

At the time, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte lamented that “China is a threat not only to Chelsea, but also to all teams around the world.” In fact, Jiangsu Suning of the Chinese Super League offered Gareth Bale, who was the most expensive player at the time, 1 million pounds a week (about 1.63 billion won). 안전놀이터

However, the Chinese Super League collapsed less than a decade later. Jiangsu, which wanted to take Bale, had no money and auctioned off the team’s bus. In addition to Jiangsu, many other clubs were disbanded, including Tianjin Tianhai, Chongqing Liangjiang, and Wuhan Changjiang.

The BBC diagnosed that the problem was that the Chinese Super League was not aimed at generating profits. A virtuous cycle was impossible because companies opened their pockets under the will of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is known as a soccer fanatic. In fact, in the heyday of the Chinese Super League, tickets for the season were only 80,000 won to 100,000 won, and uniforms were sold for around 5,000 won on the streets.

In this situation, the Chinese Super League itself collapsed after the Chinese Football Association introduced luxury taxes and salary caps to reduce the bubble, and the bad news of COVID-19 overlapped. It is explained that as the Chinese government has been playing without spectators for more than two years while implementing strict lockdown policies, a small amount of income has disappeared.

The Chinese Super League is now dreaming of a new future, forgetting its colorful past. Instead of being able to spend a lot of money, it is focusing on young players in its own country. Beijing Guoan, where Kim Min-jae (27, Bayern Munich) played, is still loved so much that tickets were sold out within five minutes of starting sales in April.

However, government support is unlikely to be provided any more. Regarding China’s 2-1 victory over Thailand in the second Asian qualifying round for the 2026 North Korea-China-U.S. World Cup, Chinese President Xi expressed a cynical response, saying, “I think it was a fluke. I can hardly believe our national team’s performance.” Even the old Eldorado may be China’s reality and Saudi Arabia’s distant future.

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