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Chinese Super League

Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande post record US$156m loss for 2017

Club takes in US$83m but writing off $52m Jackson Martinez and wages for new boss Fabio Cannavaro have hit the club in the pocket

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 April, 2018, 5:11pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 April, 2018, 11:05pm

Seven-time Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have posted a record US$156 million loss for 2017.

This is an increase on the last figure published in April 2017 that showed a US$147 million deficit.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported that the club posted an annual revenue of US$83 million in their annual report.

Ticket sales at the Tianhe Stadium accounted for just 8.5 per cent of their revenue, despite the club averaging almost 45,000 for every home game with advertising accounting for 70 per cent of their income.

The two-times AFC Champions League winners are said to be valued at US$3 billion according to Xinhua while Soccerex put them as the fourth most economically powerful club in the world on their recent Football Finance 100 report, behind only Manchester City, Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain and ahead of Manchester United, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

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They were the only Chinese club in the top 30. Soccerex also report that the club’s squad is the 68th most valuable in the world.

Forbes and Deloitte penned their annual reports in March and both valued Manchester United as the leading club in the game with Forbes declaring them the richest club and Deloitte ranking them on yearly revenue. No Chinese club featured in either top 20 lists which were both dominated by the English Premier League.

Evergrande’s squad features many China internationals and they will be among the best paid players in a league that overvalues domestic talent.

The club paid US$45.1 million for Colombian striker Jackson Martinez, who they released at the start of this season in March.

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Manager Fabio Cannavaro is one of the best paid in world football, with France Football suggesting that the World Cup winner’s total earnings including sponsorship deals and bonuses coming to 10 million, the 15th highest in the game.

Earlier reports from China had stated that the former Tianjin Quanjian boss is the best paid in the Chinese Super League and the fourth highest paid in the world.

The Italian took over from Brazilian boss Luiz Felipe Scolari while their former manager was Marcello Lippi, who now coaches the China national team.

CSL rivals Beijing Guoan were sold to Sinobo for US$100 million in January 2017, making them amongst the highest valued clubs in the world and Forbes listed Evergrande as valued at US$282 million in 2016.

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Forbes reported that Jack Ma’s Alibaba – also owners of the Post – paid US$192 million for a 50 per cent stake in the club in 2014, although Xinhua say the club is 38 per cent owned by the e-commerce giant. Real estate giants Evergrande, owned by Xu Jiayin, acquired the club for US$16 million in 2010, with Xinhua suggesting they still control 57 per cent of the club, which is formally known as Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao. The rest is controlled by minority shareholders.

Evergrande won 1-0 on Saturday night to keep their pursuit of an eighth title in a row alive. Yu Hanchao scored in the 90th minute to beat Jiangsu Suning and the win left the champions two points behind Shanghai SIPG with the league leaders having a game in hand.

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SIPG played Changchun Yatai on Sunday afternoon losing 2-1 thanks to a brace from Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo.