Chinese Football Association (CFA)

More pain for Chinese Super League clubs as CFA prepares to implement 18-point plan to clean up the game’s image

Chinese clubs are set to be hit with a new raft of regulations aimed at cleaning up the league’s image

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 1:58pm

Chinese soccer clubs are set to be hit with a further blow next week when a raft of regulations aimed at cleaning up the league’s image is brought in as a part of sweeping changes hastily introduced by the governing body.

The news comes days after the sudden introduction of a limit on the number of foreign players allowed in a team’s matchday squad.

The new regulations are part of an 18-point plan that the Chinese Football Association will announce next week, according to reports in China.

The measures were discussed yesterday at the 10th session of the Chinese Football Association in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Yu Hongchan, executive director of the CFA, said the measures would be introduced to “fight against irrational consumption and to clean up the image of the Chinese Super League.”

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Earlier in the transfer window, Brazilian international Oscar became the world’s 10th most expensive signing when he moved to Shanghai SIPG for a reported 60 million (HK$495m). That move followed the transfer of Hulk from Zenit Saint-Petersburg to SIPG for 55.8m in June last year.

Both transfer fees were thought to be well over the players’ market value, with Hulk’s transfer a 50 per cent increase on what Zenit paid FC Porto for the forward in 2012, while Chelsea received almost double what they paid Brazilian club Internacional for Oscar in 2012.

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Chinese media reported that the 18-point plan would include a “transfer fee ceiling” of 30 million after which clubs would pay an extra “tax” on the amount. That money will then be contributed to a “football development fund” aimed at enhancing youth academies throughout the league.

It also suggested the implementation of a “financial fair play” system similar to that used across Europe.

In 2009, Uefa introduced its financial fair play regulations in order to prevent clubs spending more than they earn and to improve the financial health of clubs. Contravention of the FFP rules can lead to stiff penalties including fines, transfer embargoes and exclusion from continental competition.

The plan also includes the introduction of a salary cap, directives on the prevention of ‘yin-yang’ contracts and a prohibition on signing-on fees for players.

Part of the reforms also focus on standardising the level of stadiums and training bases throughout the league.

The full 18-point programme will be announced next week, with “severe punishment” being warned for any instances of non-compliance.