May was a busy month.
Changan Ford has announced a deal worth as much as 390 million yuan (US $63 million) over four years to become an official senior partner of the Chinese Super League, as well as the league’s promotion and development partner and its official vehicle supplier.
There’s a particular official within Chinese soccer circles who has developed a habit of starting each press conference or meeting with the words “I don’t know anything about football, but…” The intent is clear: if (when) this all goes south (again), it’s not my fault.
The state’s control of Chinese football is a large reason for its poor performance over the years: what is needed is a long-term plan, but Chinese officialdom rewards short-term thinking.
Having a man in charge of the country who loves the game would appear to be a positive, but this week’s Sports Talk column looks at how Chinese President Xi Jinping’s love of soccer may not actually be such a good thing for the sport after all…
For all the back-slapping about the CSL’s new title sponsor – a four-year deal with Ping An Insurance worth 150 million per year – in reality it’s just the latest in a long list of short-sighted moves by Chinese football authorities.