The CSL’s new rules show China have learnt from England’s mistakes

Adam Brown

China’s footballing status has been growing rapidly since the arrival of many top players from Europe, but aside from the benefits of attracting top foreign players, the Chinese Super League have no intentions to override their initial ambitions of developing home-grown players to compete for the national team.

The Chinese FA have announced that loss-making clubs from 2017 will be taxed on any foreign players they sign. But where as some countries may apply taxes unfairly or for greed, China’s FA have much better ideas.

“Clubs signing players through capital expenditure will be charged the same amount, with the full sum going to the Chinese Football Development Foundation, to train young players, promote social football and soccer charity activities.”

Chinese FA Statement

Effectively, clubs will now be charged double for acquiring foreign players, but interestingly, this also means that it’s less likely for Chinese clubs to be able to offer such lucrative wages to Europe’s elite.

While this does suggest that clubs may be priced out of acquiring the likes of Diego Costa, China is still an attractive option for foreign players of lesser stature – such as players amongst mid-table clubs in Europe’s elite leagues.

SEE ALSO: There’s more to the ambitious Super League than inflated wages

As well as the new 100% tax on foreign players, the number of Under-23 players must match the amount of foreign players in the starting XI; creating further opportunities for young Chinese players to develop.

Something of this nature has been called for by many English fans for sometime. Since the arrival of Roman Abramovich to Chelsea, the Russian billionaire set out on investing heavily to transform Chelsea into champions. Given the Blues’ success in recent history, it’s fair to say that it’s worked – but has it been beneficial for English football?

The beginning was back in the 2003/04 season. Chelsea invested over £150million into transfers – a figure which was higher than Chelsea’s total transfer spend in Premier League history. The Russian man had showed his intentions; Stamford Bridge expected instant results.

After three years, the Blues had spent over £325million on transfers. While it’s exciting to see the best players in the world, the English FA could have acted similarly to China by imposing a tax to be used on grassroots. It’s a fairly obvious concept that more foreign players = less opportunities for homegrown players – especially when clubs are looking to bring in the best players in the world.

SEE ALSO: The Premier League XI destined for China

China have learnt from England’s mistakes. When considering world-class players, have England ever produced another forward like Michael Owen or another midfielder like Gerrard, Lampard or Scholes? The regression is clear to see within the England set-up. The Three Lions have gone from world-class talent like David Beckham to teams capable of being defeated by Iceland – a country with a population of around three-hundred-thirty-thousand.

As soon as Abramovich signalled his intentions, the F.A should have imposed sanctions to protect the development of young English players. Credit to the Chinese Super League for their swift action which will undoubtedly continue the Chinese football revolution.


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