Before his move back to Argentina to play once more for Boca Juniors, Carlos Tevez was the highest paid player in the Chinese Super League and he was picking up more than a staggering £615,000 a week at Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
Of course, he wasn’t the only high-profile footballer collecting wage packets stuffed with eye-watering amounts to play his trade in the CSL. Former Chelsea star Oscar is one such example. The Brazilian ace, who is aged 27, is earning a cool £400,000 a week at Shanghai SIPG; and at the same club, his fellow countryman Hulk is pocketing £320,000 a week following his move from Zenit St Petersburg in a £45million deal.
But the huge contracts could well be a thing of the past as far as the CSL is concerned. That’s because the hierarchy at the organisation is set to introduce a new set of rules, which will include a salary cap, next season (2019).
It’s all part of a bid to promote the game “healthy development”, says the game in China’s governing body, the Chinese Football Association (CFA).
A spokesman explains:
“The salary cap is to include the total expenditure of each club, as well as on individual players and this is due to expensive transfer fees and the number of well-paid foreign players. It is hoped this will eradicate the irrational investment and promote the sustainable development of the country’s professional leagues.”
Details of the new regulations will be published after the end of the 2018 season. The “100 percent transfer tax” policy was introduced at the beginning of the 2018 season. This policy states that clubs spending more than £5 million on foreign players must pay the same sum of money to a football development fund as tax for making the signing.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, the influence of both Oscar and Hulk is paying off for Shanghai SIPG as they lead the league table with 58 points ahead of Guangzhou Evergrande in second place with 54 points, while Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guoan are in third and fourth respectively on 48 points.
And the current table demonstrates that the pressure is on Italian World Cup winner, Fabio Cannavaro, who is the manager of Guangzhou Evergrande. The club have won the league title for the past eight years and there has never been a title race that has been tighter. And with former Juventus, Real Madrid and Inter Milan central defender Cannavaro sitting as the highest paid manager in CSL (and fourth highest paid in the world) on £10.6million a year, he will be hoping his outfit can impress in a late surge and retain their crown.
He thinks the glory won’t be attained until the very last action of the campaign. He added:
“I know that too many things can happen in the matches that remain. I’ve always believed that we will not know the league champion until the last minute of the last game.”