Chinese Super League

It’s not about the money for new Guizhou Zhicheng coach Gregorio Manzano, but US$8.8 million certainly helps

Spaniard returns to Chinese Super League after previous spells with Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shenhua, with new side third from bottom after one win in eight games

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 May, 2017, 3:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 May, 2017, 4:16pm

New Guizhou Zhicheng coach Gregorio Manzano insists he didn’t leave his previous job with Shanghai Shenhua over money, but the Spaniard will still receive a reported US$8.8 million salary to ensure Guizhou Zhicheng’s Chinese Super League survival this season.

Former Beijing Guoan coach Manzano returned to China last week having been replaced by Gus Poyet at Shenhua at the end of last season, and will take charge of his first game this weekend as last season’s League one runners-up entertain Tianjin Quanjian seeking just a second win of the season.

Guizhou have picked up just six points from their first eight games of the new season and sit just a place above the relegation zone after losing 3-0 to Shanghai SIPG last weekend in Li Bing’s highly-controversial last game in charge.

“I’m here to help Guizhou to avoid relegation,” said Manzano, whose salary is reported to be just lower than Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. “I am very happy to be back to China, this will be my third year in China.

“Guizhou was promoted to the Chinese Super League last year and they hope to consolidate their place. This is a very huge challenge for me, but I accepted it and hope to accomplish my task.”

Prior to losing to SIPG, in a game marred by alleged racists comments and assault made by Brazilian striker Hulk, Guizhou did hand early pacesetters Guangzhou R&F their first defeat of the season suggesting Manzano does have a squad capable of improving their league position.

Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk avoids punishment over alleged racially motivated coach punch

Manzano led heavyweights Beijing, in 2015, and Shenhua to fourth place finishes in the Super League.

“I won’t pay too much attention on whether the team is strong or weak, I will try my best to finish my work,” he added.

“In other words,my fame won’t be destroyed if I can’t finish my task, but will be destroyed if I don’t give 100 per cent. I used to coach weak teams in Spain, these so-called weak teams deserve to have their own dream and a very good coach.

“There are some differences between Guizhou and other teams. The board gives me a lot of power and I can make adjustments to the team as I wish, this is one of the reasons that I am here.”

Gregorio Manzano beats Roberto Carlos to be appointed new Guizhou Zhicheng coach

Manzano did not get a chance to work with Carlos Tevez at Shenhua as the Argentinian arrived after his departure as Poyet was ushered in last November, with the former Manchester United striker arriving at the end of 2016.

“It’s nothing to do with the money,” said Manzano of his departure from Shenhua. “I asked the management about their plan for this year and the goal they set was too high.

“I proposed to sign some players, but they couldn’t meet my demands. We couldn’t reach an agreement, so I went back to Spain.”

This weekend’s action in the Super League begins on Friday as R&F look to get their campaign back on track at home to in-form Hebei CFFC after back-to-back defeats.

Leaders Guangzhou Evergrande travel to Changchun Yatai on Sunday, with second-place SIPG making the trip to Tianjin Teda.