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China May Juguo Its Professional Football League, Well, Not That Professional

November 21st, 2008 · 4 Comments · Football, Sports Regime

Beijing Youth Daily (北京青年报) yesterday published an impressive article about the future of China’s professional football league. The General Administration of Sport of China (GASC) and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) are currently considering taking back the ownership of football clubs from companies to local sports bureaus, a move clearly trying to put Chinese football under its controversial juguo or whole-nation sports regime. Below are some excerpts:

The establishment of professional football league made companies the owners of respective clubs. It bore some fruits to Chinese football but some defects as well. The professional league made all bosses of the teams put all of their energy into the first teams only, while neglecting the development of young talents of Chinese footabll. Moreover, the GASC and the CFA are left with little control over the clubs during the struggle of interests between them and club owners, a good example would be Wuhan Guanggu’s withdrawal from the Chinese Super League early this summer.

The GASC has held a couple of meetings after the Beijing Games discussing the problems of Chinese footabll. They come to the conclusion that the disastrous situation of Chinese football is brought on by poor management of football clubs. We haven’t seen the advantages of juguo sports regime from this department to date.

The GASC is preparing to take back to ownership of football clubs to local football associations and sports bureaus, making them the beneficiaries during club transactions and the main shareholders of clubs. Meanwhile, Companies can only become ad sponsors and cannot go into the management of the clubs.

Should the doomed Chinese football be juguoed as athletics, the GASC ideally would infuse a huge amount of capital into local sports bureaus to keep those youth teams, if they exist, up and running. But seriously, is Chinese football to cross the river by feeling the stones or go into the caves?  The Chinese men’s national football team has so far disqualified from whatever tournaments they attended and this probably made the smart guys at the GASC felt they got nothing to lose.

The Chinese football league was established in 1994.  The Chinese Super League, the top tier pro league, has given us enough shenanigans this year from club withdrawals to on-field fightings, and is banned by China Central Television, China’s main TV station, from broadcasting.


  • Beijing Youth Daily: The GASC to take back football club ownerships (Chinese)
  • BBC: China TV bans top football league


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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Adam Minter

    I just found this blog via danwei. What a great, needed resource! I’ll definitely be a regular visitor. Glad you’re doing this.


    David Reply:

    Thanks, Adam. : )

    Glad you like the blog.


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  • Herman Yueh

    Taking back ownership is not the key. Education in management and appropriate regulation is surely needed. I agree with “Companies can only become ad sponsors and cannot go into the management of the clubs.” So…if taking back the ownership can mean more education/training in management, then yes it might work better than letting them run wild right now. Either way, it is going to ages before they get back on track. One thing they have to learn is not to be short-sighted, but that is very very very hard for them.


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