•   
  •   

Sport Subdued market highlights Chinese football's new normal

08:15  05 march  2021
08:15  05 march  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Casting announced for the latest Sally Rooney TV adaptation

  Casting announced for the latest Sally Rooney TV adaptation Here's what you need to know about Conversations With Friends ... With Normal People such a big hit with its candid depiction of young, complicated love, this latest adaptation of Rooney's debut novel from 2017 is sure to be huge.

By Michael Church

Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior, Ricardo Carvalho posing for the camera: FILE PHOTO: Brazilian soccer players Oscar and Hulk and Portuguese soccer player Ricardo Carvalho attend the 2017 SIPG Football Club's season mobilization of the Chinese Super League, in Shanghai © Reuters/Aly Song FILE PHOTO: Brazilian soccer players Oscar and Hulk and Portuguese soccer player Ricardo Carvalho attend the 2017 SIPG Football Club's season mobilization of the Chinese Super League, in Shanghai

HONG KONG (Reuters) - When Shanghai Port announced Ante Majstorovic's signing from NK Osijek on Tuesday, reports of his arrival at the former Chinese Super League champions barely caused a ripple.

Yet the capture of the Croatian defender by the 2018 champions for a modest 3.3 million euros ($3.98 million) fee could prove to be a landmark moment in a league that had become a byword for the largesse of 21st century football.

Mi Car: Xiaomi should want to build its own electric car

 Mi Car: Xiaomi should want to build its own electric car The Chinese tech company Xiaomi is said to be considering building its own electric car. The possible Mi-Car project is to be led by Group CEO and founder Lei Jun. © Robson90 / Shutterstock Xiaomi - is a Mi Car coming? The e-car industry is no stranger to Xiaomi. The tech group from China, which is mainly known in this country for its smartphones, is shareholder in the Chinese Tesla challengers Xpeng and Nio.

After a boom that saw big spending clubs lure some of the game's brightest talents to China, Majstorovic is the most expensive player purchased from a European club ahead of a 2021 season that will make headlines for entirely different reasons.

a man standing next to a building: Fan poses for pictures outside the stadium of Chinese soccer club Jiangsu FC in Nanjing © Reuters/STRINGER Fan poses for pictures outside the stadium of Chinese soccer club Jiangsu FC in Nanjing

The Suning Group, owners of defending champions Jiangsu FC, announced on Sunday the club would cease operations, less than four months after winning their first-ever title, as their parent company seeks to focus on their core retail business.

Club closures and middling transfer fees are a long way from an era when the league had the biggest names in the game looking over their shoulders, but the new campaign is set to usher in a less extravagant era when it kicks off in April.

China approves two new national vaccines against Covid

 China approves two new national vaccines against Covid © Ernesto BENAVIDES Vials of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against Covid-19 during a vaccination campaign in Ate, in the province of Lima, Peru, on February 19 2021 Chinese health authorities announced Thursday that they have approved two new vaccines made by domestic companies for public use.

"Over the last year the COVID pandemic made things difficult for the private companies who own the clubs in China," respected football journalist Ma Dexing told Reuters.

"They have no money so it has been impossible for them to spend like they did three or five years ago and the pandemic has given them a good excuse to stop spending."

As a result, the current mood is vastly different to a time when, fuelled by the deep pockets of the country’s private sector, Chinese clubs were shaking up the global transfer market.

From 2012 to 2017, the headline-making sums being thrown at players in their prime as well as World Cup-winning coaches was making the football world take note.

"I think the Premier League should be worried about China," said former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in February 2016.

"They seem to have the financial power to lure every player from Europe to China."

Hungary: Viktor Orban announces measures to deal with an outbreak of the Covid epidemic

 Hungary: Viktor Orban announces measures to deal with an outbreak of the Covid epidemic © AP - Tibor Rosta A health worker gets vaccinated at the department of dermatology and allergology at the University of Szeged in Szeged, Hungary, Saturday January 23, 2021. In Hungary, where the virus has killed nearly 15,000, the number of deaths, contaminations and hospitalizations is on the rise again. The English variant is rapidly gaining ground and the South African variant has been spotted. Also, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced measures.

Wenger's concerns were justified when Shanghai SIPG – Shanghai Port's name until a recent rebranding - forked out some $150 million in a six month period to sign Brazilians Hulk and Oscar, from Zenit St Petersburg and Chelsea respectively.

The moves ignited a scene that had, over the previous four years, been dominated by Guangzhou Evergrande, the club that established the template for success in China.

GUANGZHOU SUCCESS

Guangzhou's acquisition of Argentine Dario Conca for a then-record $10 million spurred the club to the first of their seven consecutive league titles in 2011 and owners Evergrande, one of the country's leading property developers, wanted more.

Marcello Lippi was hired as coach and took Guangzhou to the 2013 Asian Champions League title and, two years later, Luiz Felipe Scolari repeated the feat.

The big names rolled in elsewhere too before Shanghai SIPG blew the lid off the market.

The glut of signings was such that the rumour mill was in constant overdrive.

Speculation grew that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would join the exodus from Europe, the rumours fuelled by super agent Jorge Mendes meeting the owner of big-spending Tianjin Quanjian.

EU CRACKS: Netherlands takes Britain's position in EU and sides with Biden over China

  EU CRACKS: Netherlands takes Britain's position in EU and sides with Biden over China THE EU's unity is at risk - as the Netherlands appears to be taking Britain's position in the EU, siding with the US over China.Beijing agreed to "work towards" meeting global standards on forced labour.

Officials in China acted to cool the market and dampen speculation, though, imposing a 100% levy on foreign transfers worth over 45 million yuan ($6.95 million) in mid-2017 and insisting clubs operate within sustainable budgets.

The moves slowed the transfer market, but failed to stifle it completely as clubs attempted to find ways to circumvent the rules.

The spending slowed and clubs started to struggle.

Tianjin Quanjian, previously home to Alexandre Pato and Axel Witsel among others, closed their doors in May last year soon after the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing clubs to play the 2020 season in empty stadiums.

"The problem is the Chinese Super League is not really a professional league," Ma added.

"It's more like a corporate league, the same as they had in Japan before the J-League was set up. Football needs to do a lot in China before it can change."

($1 = 0.8299 euros)

($1 = 6.4705 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Nick Mulvenney and Christian Schmollinger)

Huawei beaten: Oppo overtakes smartphone giant in largest market .
Market researchers from Counterpoint see Oppo ahead of Huawei for the first time in the ranking of smartphone manufacturers in the important Chinese market. Overall, however, the race is close - Apple is also at the forefront. © Oppo Oppo is getting stronger. In January, Oppo overtook Huawei according to the latest Counterpoint figures.

usr: 3
This is interesting!