Tag Archives: English Premier League

West Brom, AC Milan added to China’s trophy cabinet

Chinese football added another two major clubs to the country’s portfolio, as the government-backed soccer drive shows no sign of slowing down.

With the sporting world’s attention zeroing in on the Rio Olympics, China’s football industry – as has been the case repeatedly this year – stole back the spotlight. West Brom became the first English Premier League club to be acquired by a mainland Chinese owner. Then, just hours later, AC Milan joined the club as a Chinese consortium took full ownership from Silvio Berlusconi, following the lead of its cross-town rival Inter two months ago. Here are five thoughts on the day’s dealings:  Continue reading West Brom, AC Milan added to China’s trophy cabinet

Will Premier League teams ever come back to China?

Thousands of Chinese soccer fans went home very disappointed last Monday evening, following the cancellation of the much-anticipated Manchester derby, after rain the previous week had left the pitch at the Bird’s Nest stadium in an unplayable state. Coupled with less than stellar pre-season tours in previous years, it’s hard to see many top Premier League teams jumping at the chance to return to China, especially when trips to the US and elsewhere are so much more enjoyable.

The expected resumption of hostilities between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, the new coaches of City and United respectively, had shone an unusually bright spotlight on this pre-season friendly, which, unfortunately, only served to highlight the inadequacies of the event’s preparation.

Continue reading Will Premier League teams ever come back to China?

Horrific injury overshadows CSL’s latest star arrivals

The CSL’s summer transfer window saw yet another record fee paid, as more international players arrived in China, but the league’s top scorer, Demba Ba, is looking at months on the sidelines after a bad leg break.

It is a measure of how much the pulling power of the Chinese Super League (CSL) has exploded over the past year that the summer transfer window, which closed last week, contained a handful of blockbuster deals, but was still considered quieter than expected.

Continue reading Horrific injury overshadows CSL’s latest star arrivals

New soccer tournaments could see China gain global dominance

China’s long-term soccer plan calls for the country to be a global force in the game by 2050, but if China’s latest football project comes off, it would arguably become a major footballing power long before that.  

The plan has been laid out by the Chinese government, backed, of course, by President Xi Jinping, but the latest moves have come from one of the country’s biggest companies – Wanda, whose boss just happens to be China’s richest man.

Continue reading New soccer tournaments could see China gain global dominance

Why Chinese soccer fans deserve better

Roads & Kingdoms has an excellent long-form piece by Gabrielle Jaffe profiling the fans of Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan, exploring the history of the beautiful game in China and delving into the culture of supporter groups around the country.

China has a higher proportion of female football fans than many other countries
China has a higher proportion of female football fans than many other countries

For those unfamiliar with the capital’s sole CSL team, Beijing Guoan’s crowds last season would rank them eighth in the current list of English Premier League average attendances – above Everton, Spurs and West Ham.

There are lots of highlights, including this:

Continue reading Why Chinese soccer fans deserve better

Football Focus: China enters Copa America, Li Tie returns to Everton

Lots of soccer news at the moment…

As per the excellent Wild East Football, China has accepted an invitation into the 2015 Copa America in Chile, as one of Conmebol’s two regular guest slots. No one will be expecting much from the Chinese, but competing at this level can only help the country’s quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Chinese players prepare to face Iraq in their Asian Cup qualifier on March 5
Chinese players prepare to face Iraq in their Asian Cup qualifier on March 5

Continue reading Football Focus: China enters Copa America, Li Tie returns to Everton

Premier League’s China deal raises more questions than answers

First it was David Beckham, now it’s the entire English Premier League. After Becks made three visits to China this year to make money as a special ambassador for the Chinese Super League, a deal has been signed between the English Premier League and the Chinese Super League (CSL), to coincide with UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s current trip to China.

Image
Graeme Le Saux shows he’s still got it

Continue reading Premier League’s China deal raises more questions than answers

Money trumps player safety in EPL’s Hong Kong jaunt

I wrote about the state of Hong Kong stadium last week, after which two more Barclays Asia Trophy games took place and another player was injured. I don’t usually sympathize with players who get paid tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of pounds per week for kicking a ball around a field, but that changes somewhat when their safety is willfully put at risk simply because the Premier League must make money at all costs.

The Manchester United squad was pictured watching the games on Saturday. Do these faces look like they are happy about playing here this evening?

David Moyes Man United Continue reading Money trumps player safety in EPL’s Hong Kong jaunt

Weekly Wrap: diving, sliding and Camacho

Hong Kong has been drawing lots of negative attention this week – specifically the semi-flooded state of the Hong Kong Stadium pitch, on which the Barclays Asia Trophy is being played. It consists of 3 EPL teams and a local side sliding through puddles under the guise of vaguely competitive soccer.

Hong Kong pitch
The Beautiful Game
Picture credit: Getty/The Telegraph

Continue reading Weekly Wrap: diving, sliding and Camacho

Soccer teams avoid China – but should fans care?

Maybe things will be different next summer, but pre-season tours of China by European soccer teams appear to be a thing of the past. This week’s Sports Talk column, posted below, explains why, though when English Premier League teams are touring Costa Rica but not China, it’s obvious the business model here is broken. It would be interesting to see how many fans would turn up if a – gasp! – regular season EPL game was played in China; if the NFL, with its far shorter season, can do it, then why can’t the EPL? I suspect it would be a full house, but ticket prices might be an issue, as I discuss below.

Fans of Manchester United cheers during a promotional event in China's southern city of Guangzhou Continue reading Soccer teams avoid China – but should fans care?