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Why Chinese football is set to take the world by storm

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
73   //    30 Mar 2018, 17:51 IST

In recent times, China have been the centre of attention for all the heavy money they have shelled out on players like Oscar and Hulk. Moreover, an article by a trusted website, The Daily Mail, stated that China has made a 260 million pound bid for Cristiano Ronaldo, offering him 1.6 million pounds per week.

This huge spending of money has sent football fans all around the world into a state of turmoil. Everyone is asking the same question: how did China get such great financial power in the sport of football?

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Hulk bought by Shanghai for 60 million dollars from Zenit

Here is a look at the possible reasons why Chinese football is flourishing:

1. Influential people

One of the biggest factors in China’s rise is the president himself, Xi Jinping. He has an enormous interest in football, and has a vision of the football industry in China becoming a whopping 800-billion-pound industry by 2025. He also has an optimistic vision of China hosting, and maybe lifting, the FIFA World Cup in the near future.

President Jinping has pumped in a lot of money into the industry, and bought world class players from all around the globe, irrespective of their price. This is so that the Chinese league gets into the eyes of the public, and gets the reputation of a sophisticated event.

2. Increase in population and viewership. and less competition from other leagues

Another factor that is improving the financial power in Chinese football is their increased revenue streams. The Chinese Super League recently signed a massive deal worth 1.3 billion pounds with Li Ruigang's China Media Capital for broadcast rights over the course of five years, giving them a treasure chest of 200 million pounds to spend per year.

Another reason why the Chinese Super League has reached new heights is because of the lack of competition in terms of other sports played, as compared to countries like India and USA. China does not compete with any external leagues like La Liga and the Premier League, and that is why, with the addition of some marquee players, the viewership of the Chinese League has increased manifold.

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Increased attendence in the Chinese Super League after the signing of big names

3. Drastic increase in attendance after signing of big players

There has been an increase in match day revenue in China; their league has equalled the average attendance of La Liga which is 20,000 people and the number is expected to increase to double by the end of next year. This is one of the main reasons that China is spending huge amounts of money on globally renowned players, so as to keep the viewers interested, and thus increasing match day revenue.

The success story of the Chinese Super League started the day they analyzed the controversies relating to them, and worked to fix them. Earlier, players like Chelsea legend Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were not paid their allowance and hence left the club on a bitter note. But from that point onwards the owners changed as they knew that if this continued to happen, no player would be ready to play in the league, which in turn would affect their revenue.

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Thousands of fans coming out to cheer their cub

4. Difference between China and other smaller countries trying to come up in football

The main difference between China and other countries who are trying to promote football in their country is the quality of players they are buying. China is pushing to buy players at their peak like Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, and already have well-known players like Jackson Martinez, Hulk and the most recent Tevez, who was bought from Boca Juniors for a reported fee of a whopping 71.6 million pounds.

Other countries like USA and J League are buying players who are almost at the age of retiring like Steven Gerrard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. These players do not catch the eye of the spectators, the way players in their peak do. This is why China is prospering more than Leagues in USA and other countries, and can well become a superpower in football in the near future.

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This image clearly shows that the CSL is rapidly becoming popular

The image above is a clear indicator that the popularity of the Chinese Super League has rapidly increased, and its attendance has almost reached that of Seria A and Ligue 1. These leagues are supposed to be part of the top five leagues in the world, but very soon the Chinese Super League will surpass these leagues, and will reach the attendence of La Liga.

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