Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Financial free-fall for Chinese champs Jiangsu FC

Financial free-fall for Chinese champs Jiangsu FC

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Jiangsu Suning players and staff members celebrate after their team defeated Guangzhou Evergrande to win the Chinese Super League football championship in Suzhou of China’s eastern Jiangsu province. AFP

Financial free-fall for Chinese champs Jiangsu FC

The “shocking” collapse of champions Jiangsu FC is a watershed for Chinese football that should prompt a rethink from top to bottom, state media said.

Jiangsu, who are owned by the conglomerate Suning – which also owns Italy’s Inter Milan – said Sunday they will “cease operations”, three months after winning the Chinese Super League for the first time.

The announcement underlines the financial problems coursing through the league that could also see rival side Tianjin Tigers fold this week.

It also highlights the declining fortunes of a league that repeatedly smashed the Asian transfer record just a few years ago, attracting a number of foreign stars. Many have since left.

“It seems incredible and shocking, but it feels like the dust has now settled,” state-run Xinhua news agency said following the announcement by Jiangsu, who have not yet dissolved and are seeking a financial lifeline.

Xinhua said that 16 teams across three tiers of Chinese professional football folded in 2020.

The Super League gained a reputation for luring star players with hefty wages and exorbitant transfer fees – Shanghai SIPG signed Oscar from Chelsea in 2017 for an Asian-record 60 million euros.

But the Chinese Football Association has since brought in a raft of measures to cool spending, including a 100 per cent transfer tax and salary caps.

The CFA said on Monday it was “sorry to hear” about Jiangsu but respected the club’s decision, and vowed to plough on with its attempts to make China a leading football power.

However, times are tough for Chinese clubs, where money began to dry up even before the coronavirus pandemic.

“The most important thing at the moment is to reload and start again, rather than being lost in confusion or remorse,” said Xinhua.

“To some extent it is a good thing that the bubble has burst earlier [than expected],” it added.

“Chinese professional football has ushered in its first ‘watershed’ after its high-speed, wild growth.

“Respect the laws of football, respect the laws of the market, adhere to youth training and work for the long term.”

Beijing Youth Daily said the implosion of Jiangsu, who are based in the eastern city of Nanjing, was an opportunity for renewal.

“Where does Chinese football go from here?” it asked.

“Experts say that to solve the predicament of Chinese football it must be overthrown and reconstructed.

“Chinese football, the promotion of it and youth training all need to be reassessed.”

The new season, which will almost certainly be shorn of Jiangsu and Tianjin, is expected to start in April but there is no definite date because of coronavirus uncertainty.


  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and