November 23 will mark the 56th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who but it will be another long-running drama that often stretches belief that will have millions glued to their screens. That’s the day that the Chinese Super League title race is likely to be decided when title favourites Guangzhou Evergrande host second-placed Shanghai SIPG at Tianhe Stadium. There is one more round of matches before then but they should stick to the script – each of the teams with title aspirations play opposition with nothing to play for. If those matches go to form – Evergrande play Henan Jianye (10th), SIPG host Dalian (8th) and Beijing Guoan welcome Tianjin Teda (7th) – then the table should look in the same order as it does now. That sees Evergrande on 62 points, SIPG on 59 and Beijing Guoan on 58 after losing to SIPG on Saturday night. If dreams of the title returning to the capital for the first time in a decade have begun to fade in recent weeks, then losing 2-0 to the champions has all but ended them – although a draw in Guangzhou at the end of the month offers Guoan a way back in if they beat Shanghai Shenhua at Hongkou Stadium the previous evening. Will anyone still care by then? There is almost a month until the games that matter. There will be another break for the national team to play, with most teams breaking from the next round of matches on October 27 until November 22. The only exceptions are Beijing Renhe and Guangzhou R&F who meet on November 1, but that is still a three-week break before they resume. This is the third such lengthy stoppage of the season, with China’s preparations for its World Cup qualifying campaign for the Qatar 2022 tournament prioritised ahead of the club game. The disruption has even spread to the final of the Chinese FA Cup, where there is more than a month between the first and second leg. That kicks off on November 1 and resumes on December 6 when the season is over. At least the weather in Shanghai will be better than it would be at that time of winter in Shandong but that is not an awful lot of silver lining. Technically the competition began with the qualifying rounds in December of last year. That’s a 12-month competition. Even when the top-flight teams joined back in April seems a long time ago. Record breaker Here's the moment Guangzhou Evergrande's Ai Kesen became the highest scorer in Chinese Super League history, with his 103rd goal! He scored again, and led his team to a 3-2 win over Shenzhen! pic.twitter.com/VjViGiZey6 — Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) October 18, 2019 When two legs have been played this far apart it has rarely been by design. The two legs of the African Cup of Nations 2013 first round qualifiers in 2012 were played several months apart because there was no Fifa international match day in between. Last year’s Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate took a month but that was only after the second leg was called off for fan trouble and had to eventually be moved to Madrid from Buenos Aires. Control of the Chinese Super League, China's top football league, is being handed over by the Chinese Football Association to the clubs in an effort to encourage its commercial development pic.twitter.com/FudblMmhhY — Xinhua Sports (@XHSports) October 16, 2019 We can at least assume that the Chinese FA Cup final will be played. Then English FA Cup holders Coventry and Scottish FA Cup holders St Mirren are still awaiting the second leg of their Anglo-Scottish cup final. The first was played in December 1987 but the March 1988 decider never materialised. That’s pretty illustrious company and it is unusual even for China. Last year’s FA Cup final saw its two legs played over a week. That was the same every year going back to 2014’s two-week gap, the only final played over more than a week since two-legged finals were introduced in 2012. Congratulations Beijing Guoan for winning the Chinese FA Cup title. See you at the #ACL2019 ! pic.twitter.com/UNbItEWJJR — AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) December 2, 2018 Going back to the league, the clubs at both ends of the table can rightfully be upset about the latest extended break in play. Maybe it will give either Shenzhen or bottom side Beijing Renhe a chance to halt their losing run but that seems as unlikely as it is unintended. There is no debate over club v country in China. Last year there was the extended break for the World Cup, a tournament it should be reminded that China were not involved in. Then came the mind-boggling military training camps that removed players from their clubs with the season still going on. The 1st-class Chinese national team military camp finishes today. The 47 players will have a rest before the football training camp in Kunming for intense physical training starts on 25th. Nov. Another 44 players have assembled in Beijing for the 2nd-class military camp. pic.twitter.com/g0n7TM2yUI — Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) November 19, 2018 It’s interesting that last week the Chinese FA announced it was handing over control of the CSL to its clubs. CFA secretary general Liu Yi disclosed that a new club-led organisation would take over the day-to-day running. “In the future, the CSL should operate as an independent and market-oriented corporation like the Premier League in England,” said Liu. “The CFA would no longer be involved in the day-to-day operation of the league, instead functioning as a supervisory body.” Perhaps the clubs will still decide to put the country’s needs before their own when it comes to league scheduling. We’ll see how much “control” is handed over. You never know, maybe turkeys do vote for Christmas, although that, like much of the CSL, sounds like something out of Doctor Who.