sports gazette

EXCLUSIVE: Richard Conway on CSL Mega-Deals

Published: 23 Feb 2017

Huge payouts from Chinese Super League teams could soon be a thing of the past according to the BBC's Richard Conway.

Eye-watering deals from the Chinese Super League may not be here to stay.

Wayne Rooney, the latest European star to be tantalised by the wealth of the Chinese Super League, could potentially be shipped off as soon as next week.

He would likely command a payout similar to that of Chelsa’s Oscar, who went to Shangai SIPG for more than 50 million pounds.

However, Richard Conway of the BBC told the Sports Gazette that these deals will soon return to earth.

Conway said: “There is a little bit of embarrassment from the Chinese government about some of the fees and wages that are being paid out at the moment.

“They introduced an 18 point plan last month to try and curb some of that spending, to try and limit it. So you might not get some of the big mega-deals.

“You will still definitely get some of the 15 to 20 million pound range of transfers from Europe into China. Rooney may be the exception, he may be the last one if he does go.”

The CSL though is not worried about it causing a decline in coverage.

The primary aim of the league is to develop home grown talent and interest.

Conway said: “They want Chinese players playing for Chinese clubs. That will ultimately fuel and benefit the national team and push them on to World Cup glory.

“This isn’t about developing a league just for the sake of a league. If that was the case there would be a lot more foreign players playing there.”

What it could cause though is a fierce competition with rival leagues such as the MLS.

Conway continued: “I think the MLS and CSL will be in competition, but they will be in competition for a certain band of player.

“It will be interesting to see how Europe reacts because a lot of the best players still want to play in Europe and play in the Champions League. Still want to play for domestic titles in Italy, Spain, and England and that will take a long time to change.”

For now though, CSL spending simply cannot be matched by the MLS. Indeed it cannot be matched by many European teams, and so the CSL will continue to attract top talent.

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