China concerned about rampant spending

The Chinese government are reportedly concerned about the huge sums of money being spent on foreign players and may look to curb their investment.

With the Chinese national team languishing in 82nd place on FIFA's latest world rankings, a national effort to aid the development of the Chinese Super League began with the signing of internationally recognised players.

President Xi Jinping was the driving force behind the recent move to put the CSL on the world football map and previously spoke of his desire to see China host and then win a World Cup in the not too distant future.

In the past year alone, Chinese Super League clubs have broken the Asian transfer record five times.

Carlos Tevez was made the world's best-paid player when he signed for Shanghai Shenhua for £71.6m on a reported salary of £615,000 per week.


Other players, including Chelsea's Oscar and Jon Obi Mikel, as well as Axel Witsel, Gervinho, Demba Ba and a host of others have all signed for exorbitant fees and wages, prompting China to rethink their strategy.

A bid of £257m was also reportedly made to Real Madrid for the signature of Cristiano Ronaldo, but it was turned down.

While the plan was initially seen only as a positive, a number of fans and concerned football administrators have begun to speak out.

A social media commentator posted on China's equivalent to Twitter, Weibo on Thursday: "The irrational competition in the football market has borne evil fruit: higher and higher salaries for big-name foreign players, worsening league match levels, and a worsening football environment.

"The market economy does not mean you can do whatever you want. Government intervention is absolutely necessary."


Mark Dreyer of China Sports Insider added: "It's hard to predict what will happen. China is like a supertanker. Once something like this (big spending) gets going, it's hard to stop it.

"If you look at the numbers, they are clearly ridiculous. It's not sustainable from any business perspective and not helping Chinese football."

There is still support for the scheme, though, with Chinese football website Wild East Football owner Cameron Wilson saying that Chinese football has been put in the spotlight as a result of the big-money moves.

He said: "That never would have happened without the big transfers.

"I can't see that the spending will be drastically reduced by this, but you can never rule anything out in China."