Chinese Super League clubs deny debt crisis

Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs have denied debt problems after league authorities said 13 top flight clubs were at risk of a ban.

The denials come after CSL authorities said clubs in debt were at risk of being banned from the competition next season.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) accused the 13 clubs, including champions Guangzhou Evergrande and Andre Villas Boas’ big-spending Shanghai SIPG, of having outstanding debts related to player transfers, salaries and bonuses.

The move by the CFA comes after the AFC issued a statement on July 11 saying that clubs with outstanding debt would not be allowed to compete in next year’s Asian Champions League unless the arrears were paid by August 31.

Shanghai SIPG responded by saying they had paid all of their arrears and had submitted the evidence to the CFA.

Meanwhile, Beijing Guoan, Shandong Luneng and Jiangsu Suning issued statements denying irregularities.

Shanghai Shenhua, who signed Carlos Tevez in December, said they were investigating and would finalise any outstanding payments as soon as possible.

The crackdown is the latest in a series of moves by Chinese authorities to regulate spending in the face of criticism.

In May, the CFA imposed a 100% tax on transfers involving foreign players for clubs in debt.

The CFA has also put restrictions on the number of foreign players allowed in matchday squads.