China’s Super League starts – but the hype is over

A cent is one euro less taxes, is a saying. Of course, the conditions are not that bad, not even in China. Nevertheless, the tax ensures that the boom of the previous year is no longer available in this form. It’s not the only problem of the Super League going into the next round on Friday afternoon.

At the last minute, a mega deal came to fruition: Yannick Carrasco and Nicolas Gaitan moved from Atletico Madrid to Dalian Yifang for a total of 48 million euros. The rich in the Middle Kingdom had struck again – but not in the shape as in the previous year.

At that time, Chinese clubs spent well over 400 million euros on new acquisitions during the winter break. King transfer Oscar (26) moved from Chelsea to Shanghai IPG for 60 million euros. In Germany, the chewing gum transfer from Anthony Modeste from 1. FC Köln to Tianjin Quanjian made headlines. The Rhinelanders finally cut 35 million euros.

But the hype is over – and that has good reasons. “The whole league is unsettled, and that’s because of the new penalty tax,” says well-known Chinese sports commentator Yan Qiang. Qiang assumes that clubs have spent a maximum of a third of the sum of the previous year for new commitments. Since last summer, China’s clubs have finally had to pay a 100% tax on the transfer fee. For the transfer of Carrasco and Gaitan so over 90 million euros are due.

Beijing Guoan tricks in vain

Attempts by the clubs to bypass the tax failed. For example, Tricksen wanted the Beijing Guoan coached by Roger Schmidt. When striker Cedric Bakambu moved from Spanish first division side FC Villarreal to the Chinese capital in early January, Beijingers said that Bakambu had paid its 40 million euro exit clause “out of pocket”. You do not need tax to pay taxes. The Chinese Football Association reacted, and clearly. Guoan announced shortly afterwards, complacently, “catching up with the relevant payments”.

 Carlos Tevez about the Chinese

In order to promote domestic players, only three foreigners per team may stand in the square at the same time and only four (plus one non-Chinese Asian) in the squad. For many a legionary there was a certain reluctance to notice anyway. The most striking example is Carlos Tevez: Last year, the Argentinian moved from his home club Boca Juniors to Shanghai, where he should get an annual salary of 40 million dollars. 16 games, four goals – that was the meager record of the Argentinian. In addition, he poured some hate over the Chinese. “They just can not play football, Chinese players do not have the technical skills of South Americans or Europeans by nature,” he said in an interview in September.

In January, Shanghai let him go again. It wants to focus more in the future on their own youth work and the promotion of Chinese talent, it is now in more and more clubs, which are thus also in line with the Communist Party. Anthony Ujah is also an example of the reverse: The Nigerian left his Chinese employer Liaoning and joined Mainz 05 again in the winter.

Modeste misses his family

And how did Modeste fare? The Frenchman was instrumental in helping his club reach the Asian Champions League. At the decisive qualifier against Philippine representative Ceres Negros (2-0) at the end of January, he scored both goals. On a visit to Cologne immediately afterwards, however, he let it resonate that he too is not completely happy and could imagine a return to the FC. “I do not know what’s going to happen in the future, maybe I’ll come back or not,” he told the Express. He enjoys the time in China, but also misses his family: “Without them, it is difficult.”


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