When it comes to the silliest football league in the world, the Isles of Scilly takes the prize. The top – and in fact only – division in the five inhabited islands about 50 kilometres (30 miles) off the coast of Cornwall has just two teams, the Garrison Gunners and Woolpack Wanderers, for its 2,000-odd inhabitants. Those two teams play 16 league games and two cups – one over two legs – between them, turning out every Sunday come rain or shine – and it is usually rain in their little corner of the Atlantic. There were once four teams in the league but population decline saw two disappear, but still there has been outside interest. The New York Times are among the media outlets to travel there, while Adidas filmed a football commercial in 2008 featuring David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Patrick Vieira and Michael Ballack. Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Yu Hanchao, also a national team player, was sacked by the Chinese Super League champion after he was caught fabricating his own car plate. He will also face a 15-day detention and a fine of 5,000 yuan (US$708.73). pic.twitter.com/a6HXlVBNkF — SHINE (@shanghaidaily) April 14, 2020 Globally famous stars in a strange land has echoes of the Chinese Super League when it made headlines in 2016. Clubs started splashing the cash on the likes of Oscar, Hulk and Ezequiel Lavezzi, and people started paying attention. The similarities end there though, because even in the midst of the coronavius crisis putting an end to sport, the Chinese Super League has furthered its claim to being the daftest in the world. Guangzhou Evergrande's new football-specific stadium (capacity over 100, 000) won't be ready for the 2021 (2022?) Club World Cup. Guangzhou is NOT a host city for the 2023 Asian Cup. But the stadium, possibly as China's Camp Nou, may be a venue to host a future FIFA World Cup. pic.twitter.com/kX9b5NanG0 — Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) April 16, 2020 This season was meant to start on February 22, the Super Cup on February 5 notwithstanding, but much like the rest of the sporting world there is no sign of resumption. Rumoured dates have moved from March to April to May to June and now to July. That is not why the CSL is in a league of its own when it comes to silliness. No, that is on the powers that be – and this week there have been several examples of their unique brand of Hellerian bureaucracy. First of all there was the scandal around Guangzhou Evergrande’s China international Yu Hanchao, who was sacked from the eight-time CSL champions for apparently doctoring his car licence plate. ‘Red card for public indecency’ – a real ref’s take on Shaolin Soccer Yu “violated club rules” – the same ones that have seen other players fall foul and have to right reflections on their misdeeds. He has been given his marching orders and reports also suggest that he now owes the club money for breaching his contract, as well as spending 15 days in prison. This madness did not go unnoticed with 430 million views on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, where former China striker Hao Haidong called this treatment out. “Please have some respect for labour laws, Yu Hanchao’s behaviour wasn’t that bad to be sacked,” he told his 7.5 million followers. “And don’t treat your football players like tools,” he added, in a caption to a photograph of Yu and Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin. Former teammate Gao Lin also defended Yu but state media stuck the boot in. A professor of architecture of Huazhong University of Science & Technology, commented Guangzhou Evergrande's new stadium: "They asked craftsmen to make a ceramic lotus. Then the company which could truly imitate the lotus wins the bid(Gensler). A shame of Chinese architecture!" pic.twitter.com/1nWJ4i5149 — Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) April 17, 2020 “Acts prohibited by law are a red line for any citizen and cannot be crossed,” Xinhua news agency spat out. “Football players are public figures and even idols of many teenagers. Illegal and criminal acts are untouchable high-voltage lines.” Unbelievably, that is not the most bizarre incident to have befallen the Guangzhou side this week. They were also fined by the CSL, to the tune of 500,000 yuan (US$70,689), essentially for celebrating winning the title last season. The almost perpetual champions of China marked winning the title back from Shanghai SIPG – who had broken Evergrande’s seven-in-a-row run – by allowing sponsors to celebrate with them. About Guangzhou Evergrande's new stadium (as China's Camp Nou), some sources reveal there were 9 bids on the table. Finally Evergrande chose the No. 4 bid (offered by Gensler). The demand of Evergrande: turn a ceramic lotus, which were sent to all bidders, into a stadium. pic.twitter.com/Up0lEXffLU — Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) April 18, 2020 On top of that it came to light that the very CSL trophy that they were celebrating has gone missing. As Titan Sports reported, the replica trophy went missing after a ceremony in Shanghai last year. Evergrande have been sent another replica. This was also the week that China’s most ambitious club announced their most ambitious project yet – breaking ground on a US$1.7 billion, 100,000-seat football-specific stadium that would be bigger than Barcelona’s Camp Nou. Barcelona, the winners of 74 trophies in their 120-year history, tend to fill their stadium. Guangzhou Evergrande, winners of eight of the last nine CSL titles and twice champions of Asia, get around 50,000 in their current 60,000-seat Tianhe Stadium – and even if they do build a cathedral to Cantonese football to rival that in Catalonia then the authorities probably won’t let them fill it anyway. Some sources reveal that Gerkan, Marg & Partners (gmp), an architectural company for Estadio Santiago Bernabéu renovation project, quit bid for Guangzhou Evergrande's new stadium after receiving Evergrande's demand: turning a lotus ceramic into a stadium. Gensler finally won it. pic.twitter.com/N6VRDdnD9v — Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) April 18, 2020 Something does not add up, that’s for sure. But then with Chinese football it rarely does. It’s ironic for a league that shows such little interest in public relations, they keep making headlines. On top of all of that, clubs have been trying to force through Covid-19 pay cuts – never mind that the league is not yet started and the clubs are generally financed by huge state-owned companies, rather than relying on match-day revenues. This has gone down badly with last season’s top-scorer, Eran Zahavi of Guangzhou R&F, while Wuhan Zall defender Ai Zhibo has pointed out that players in Europe are working from home while CSL players are in training. This could be the making of Chinese football – as they could be the biggest league back playing – but it is also a chance to work out what they want the league to actually be: the “sixth best in the world”, as they stated, retirement home, or laughing stock. How to watch the Taiwan Premier League – and who to look out for Instead, there is a power struggle between the clubs and the Chinese FA as they try to restructure, alongside more wacky headlines than The Onion. The devil makes work for idle hands they say, perhaps nowhere more so than the CSL.