China implements spending curbs on clubs amid finance squeeze, Latest Football News - The New Paper

China implements spending curbs on clubs amid finance squeeze

Chinese football authorities have announced major curbs on spending by clubs ahead of the 2020 season, including a cap on foreign and domestic players' salaries as they seek to stave off financial ruin.

Overseas recruits to the Chinese Super League (CSL) in the upcoming winter transfer window will be limited to earning 3 million euros (S$4.5m) after tax, the first time a salary cap has been implemented in the CSL in more than a decade.

Additionally, a ceiling of 10m yuan (S$1.9m) has been placed on Chinese players' salaries.

Clubs will also not be permitted to spend more than 1.1 billion yuan on their operations throughout the upcoming campaign, with salaries not to exceed 60 per cent of that amount.

"Our clubs had too much money burned and our professional football has not been run in a sustainable way," Chinese Football Association chairman Chen Xuyuan said, according to state news agency Xinhua.

"If we don't take timely action, I fear it will collapse."

The new rules were confirmed after a meeting of the Chinese Football Association on Wednesday and do not extend to bonuses that can be paid, which could give clubs some flexibility to pursue star signings.

Clubs will also be permitted to sign a fifth player from overseas, up from the current quota of four, but will be allowed to field only four foreigners on the pitch at any one time.


Officials have routinely sought to curb excessive spending in the CSL, after a major outlay on foreign stars ahead of the 2017 season saw the arrival of players such as Brazilian star Oscar and Carlos Tevez from Argentina on huge salaries.

Later that year, a 100 per cent levy was placed on transfers valued at over 45m yuan involving foreign players while the same condition was imposed on domestic moves worth more than 20m yuan.

However, the influx of foreign talent, expected to lift standards at a club level, has done little to reverse the national team's dismal fortunes, with China failing to qualify for the World Cup Finals since their debut appearance in 2002.

The national team, ranked 76th in the world, are struggling to qualify for the next tournament in Qatar in 2022, with Italian Marcello Lippi quitting as coach last month and a replacement yet to be appointed. - REUTERS