Enough is enough: Shanghai Shenhua demand end to Carlos Tevez rumours amid so-called ‘wage crisis’
British newspaper claim 2018 Chinese Super League season is under threat over unpaid salaries and bonuses but clubs and Chinese Football Association continue to hit back
Shanghai Shenhua have slammed a report suggesting Argentinean Carlos Tevez is being paid his mega salary with the Chinese Super League side while teammates are not, with the Chinese Football Association “ruling out” the headline-grabbing so-called “wage crisis” in China.
Tevez joined Shenhua at the start of the 2017 season on a reported salary of US$800,000 per week, which this week led media in Britain to confuse a request from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to ensure clubs finances are in order ahead of any potential participation in next year’s AFC Champions League with a situation that threatens the future of 13 of the 16 clubs in the top-flight.
And with the Mirror following up Tuesday’s report that the 2018 Super League season was under threat after clubs failed “to pay their players properly” ahead of next month’s AFC deadline with a claim that “Shanghai have ensured the ex-West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester City striker is one player who received his wages on time”, Shenhua were forced to respond to the latest rumour surrounding the high-profile striker.
“Since Tevez joined Shenhua the rumours never stop,” Shenhua vice president Bruce Zhou told the Post.
“To be honest, we are tired of refuting rumours now. The sensible people won’t believe this for even a second.”
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) July 25, 2017
Shenhua questioned the authenticity of the article, with press officer Ma Yue adding: “How could this be true? We are not the club [from] several years ago.”
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) also weighed in on the debate, saying there “isn’t a big problem” after the newspaper report said 13 of the 16 Super League sides “could be forced to forfeit their participation in the competition next season”.
“Firstly, we did receive the notice from AFC, but none of the clubs failed to pay their players’ salaries and bonuses, we can rule out that possibility because nowadays every club is under strict management,” said the CFA.
“No club dares to do so, especially when it comes to foreign players. If the players bring this kind of cases to Fifa, none of the clubs can get away with it.”
The British tabloid also claimed that fellow former English Premier League players, Ramires and Oscar, have also “dodged pay problems” before producing a list of “10 players your club could sign on the cheap if Chinese Super League clubs get the boot”.
Any potential issue appears to come down to small payments owed to the former clubs of players who have since signed with Super League sides, with some of these outfits minor youth teams across the world.
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This process, plus the involvement of numerous bodies including the AFC, CFA and Fifa, also appears to have added to the confusion, which seems to boil down to minor paperwork issues compared to a crisis set to bring China’s top-flight to a halt.
“Chinese clubs can afford this sum of money, some only cost thousands or 10s of thousands of RMB, but the thing is, during the transfer process, it’s difficult to know how many youth teams a player has played for, so naturally, they sometimes don’t know how many clubs they should pay the compensation fees to,” added the CFA.
“Our purpose to send this notice is to remind the clubs of it, if they’ve got a problem, they should solve it. If they don’t, everything’s fine. We believe our clubs won’t do such things on purpose.”
Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande were one of the clubs implicated, along with five lower league sides, despite Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side having played in the AFC Champions League for the last six seasons and winning the title in 2013 and 2015.
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“After verification, we paid our compensation fees of joint mechanism to [Colombia’s] CD Coopebombas FC and Independiente Medellin on 12.26.2016 and 1.16.2017, so we don’t have any arrears problem. We’ve already sent the related certificates to CFA,” said Evergrande.
The AFC regularly conducts club licensing checks on all clubs participating in their competitions, with the club licensing regulations issued in 2016 referring to clubs having “no payables overdue towards football clubs arising from transfer activities” as well as “no payables overdue towards employees and social/tax authorities”.