With the Chinese Super League being the talk of the town, or in the football world at least with the brass and bold signings of some of the games top stars. Players such as Axel Witsel, Hulk, Oscar and Graziano Pelle have all graced the Chinese turf. Fans of many leagues, most notably the Premier League, have come out in anger against the relative newcomers. I’m here to look through a couple of examples of the type of hypocrisy the Chinese Super League has to put up with.
One of the worst types of hypocrisy the CSL has had to deal with from the Premier League is when fans have expressed their anger regarding the amount of money the Chinese clubs are spending whether that be in expenditure to the club or salary of a player.
A recent example of anger or annoyance towards the league was shown in the 65 million transfer of Cedric Bakambu from Villarreal to Beijing Guoan. An excellent player moving to a club looking to progress, just like any normal side would want. I witnessed the reaction to this transfer. It wasn’t good, most commenting were fans from England who mostly supported Premier League sides, and they were saying this club had spent too much on this player. Tweets like “They’re ruining the game” and “Shoulda joined the Prem” were typed more than once. These same fans didn’t look twice when Liverpool broke the transfer record for a defender at the beginning of the January window where they spent 75 million for Virgil Van Dijk. How is that right? It comes across like they feel it’s okay for the Prem to do it as they are the ‘Big Boys’ but when any other league comes in it’s wrong.
Another thing in terms of money were the salaries in which fans moan at. It is known that 5 of the top 10 earners in football play in the Chinese Super League but with good reason. Players like Oscar, Witsel and Bakambu are the stars of their teams where they are the highest earners. These players most likely start every game while contributing the most to the sides. Well the point I’m making is that is it any different to Man United paying Alexis Sanchez half a million a week to be their top performer. Of course it’s not just one is in England and one is in China.
Before we continue, just a quick note that the Premier League spent over £450 million in the recent January transfer window which is more than the French, German, Spanish and Italian first divisions combined. Crazy right?
Amount of local talent:
Now this shocked me when I saw people mention this at all but some fans were even annoyed that there was a lack of Chinese players playing compared to the foreign talent especially when at times in the Prem, teams like Arsenal have gone into games with not one English player in a matchday squad. One comment made was “how are the Chinese players going to grow with an all Brazilian side out.” This exact comment is what the Chinese are not doing. Their main idea for bringing over these stars is to improve the Chinese game in the long term. Rules and regulations have been brought in to where there has to be a certain amount of u23 Chinese players on the field as well as only having a certain amount of foreign players in a matchday squad. If anything I’d kind of wish the FA would adopt this idea for the Premier League instead of seeing so much young talent wasted. I’d say the Chinese definitely win this battle.
Overall, you can understand why fans would feel uneasy towards the CSL as they are the so-called “new kid on the block”, but some of the bad blood is very unnecessary. Whether the Premier League likes it or not the Chinese Super League is here to stay, grow and become a giant in the sport.