The J.League’s latest foreign addition has strong opinions on the Chinese Super League.
New Vissel Kobe striker Lukas Podolski has said that the Chinese Super League will never become one of the world’s top leagues because things that go on behind the scenes are “about anything but football.”
The former German international joined the Japanese side last week, signing a two-year contract after being linked with a move to China.
Podolski, 32, is reported to be earning around £8.9 million a year in Japan following his move from Galatasaray and probably could have made more in China, but he told Sport Bild that he was concerned about the way transfer negotiations were being carried out.
“Sure, it’s tempting to hear you could earn £13m to £17m in China, but the way of negotiating – with eight, nine agents sometimes interfering there – is close to that of criminals,” he said.
He added that while CSL wages might be higher, “what goes into your account in the end will be significantly less given all the dark channels involved.”
Despite all the attention the CSL has been getting recently, Podolski said that he believes the league in China will never rival Europe’s big leagues.
“I like China, I have got many fans there, but the football over there will never achieve something like the Bundesliga for instance,” he said. “The way they act right now, they will never achieve their goal to become the best league.
“Just looking at what happens behind the scenes, it’s about anything but football.”