Jiangsu FC: Another One Bites the Dust

    02 Mar 2021 | Super League | Opinion
    Jiangsu FC: Another One Bites the Dust

    Just 3-months after securing the Chinese Super League title, Jiangsu FC have become the 16th club across the top three divisions in China to go bust in the space of the last year.

    Many football fans and experts expected the bubble that is the CSL to burst sooner or later when it was revealed just how much money many of these clubs were spending on player wages.

    It was only a decade ago that China’s president declared that it was time for China to make its mark on the footballing world. Since then, dozens of high-profile foreign players have moved to China in search of fortune rather than fame.

    Carlos Tevez was a one point getting paid more money than Messi while he turned out for Shanghai Shenhua, highlighting the ridiculous fees Chinese clubs were handing out to players that are well passed their prime.

    The global pandemic has certainly had an effect on the companies that back or own these Chinese football clubs over the last year and now that money has dried up, the clubs have begun to fold. Sensibly, a salary cap has been introduced for the 2021 campaign, something that really should have been installed from the beginning as seen in the MLS.

    The likes of Oscar and Arnautovic, who signed mega deals before the new wage cap, remain on their original contracts and will either have to settle for a much lower payday when their contracts come to an end or their time in the far east will come to an end.

    There are some positives that could come from this apparent disaster for Chinese football. There has been large-scale investment in youth development, starting in schools, with the aim of developing young Chinese players.

    The Chinese national team has not been helped by the influx of foreign players over the last decade as it has stunted the development of their own players who have found first-team football harder to come by.

    For a country the size of China not to have produced a single star player in the history of football is unthinkable, so hopefully this new youth investment will provide them with a better all-round standard of football at both club and national level.

    The likes of Hulk, Pelle, Carrasco, Tevez, and Witsel have already left China, as have some managers such as Rafa Benitez, as clubs look to balance the books.

    More players are expected to follow suit come the end of their contracts and soon the only foreign imports to the CSL will be mediocre players on average wages and we should see more young Chinese players getting their chance to develop.

    Losing Jiangsu FC is devastating news for the CSL but it was bound to happen when clubs like that were spending far too much money on wages that have literally drained the clubs of all funds over the past year.

    You have to feel sorry for the genuine fans of these clubs that saw their team suddenly littered with world famous names and now they have no club to support at all.