I spoke to Sky Sports reporter Johnny Phillips last week for a piece he did on the increasing amount of Chinese investment directed at English football clubs in recent weeks. Editors being as they are, only a few selected highlights appeared in the finished article, but we covered a lot of ground, so here is an uncut version (completed shortly before the Wolves deal – the latest of the Chinese takeovers – was announced), touching on why rumours spread so quickly, West Brom’s possible owner and his plans for world domination, Sven spouting nonsense and why Wolves fans are probably sleeping better than Villa ones at the moment.
Alain Perrin, coach of the Chinese national men’s soccer team, should make sure his squad have a busy month. When they are not preparing for friendly games against Macedonia and Mali, he should take them out to the local bars, sit them down in front of the TV, buy them a nice non-alcoholic beverage, and make them watch as many World Cup matches as possible.
[UPDATE: It’s not disaster for China just yet, but things most definitely did not go their way this evening. Having tied Saudi Arabia 0-0 in Xian, news came through that Iraq had won 2-0 in Indonesia, so Iraq is now two points behind China for the final qualifying berth in their group with one game to play. That game? Iraq vs China, to be played in Dubai on March 5, is now winner takes all, though China would of course qualify if it was a draw.