Fri, Dec 21, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Chinese soccer imposes salary cap in new crackdown

AFP, SHANGHAI

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) yesterday imposed a salary cap of 10 million yuan (US$1.45 million) per year for domestic players and vowed to kick teams out for so-called “yin-yang contracts.”

The measures are part of the association’s efforts to clamp down on spending.

There would also be a limit on bonuses and other financial inducements for domestic players, China Central Television 5 said in its reporting of an end-of-season conference in Shanghai.

Foreign players are not affected by the cap, which is to be in place for the new Chinese Super League season next spring.

Among a raft of other measures, teams must submit contracts for their players and coaches by the end of the year as part of a crackdown on “yin-yang contracts.”

Such contracts — one for the tax authority and another with the real figures — are thought to be widespread in soccer and show business in China.

If the CFA uncovers any tax-avoidance schemes, the offending player or coach would face a ban of one to three years, and their clubs could be deducted points or even kicked out the league.

Two years ago, Brazilian attacking midfielder Oscar joined Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea for an Asian-record 60 million euros (US$68.83 million at the current exchange rate) and Argentine forward Carlos Tevez signed for Shanghai Shenhua, earning some of the highest wages in soccer.

High-profile arrivals have triggered fears that Chinese clubs are distorting the international transfer market with overinflated wages and fees.

The CFA has since moved to stop the splurge and force teams to focus on youth development instead.

“The association will draw on the experience of advanced overseas leagues to design comprehensive measures to control high wages, high bonuses, high transfer fees and other issues,” CFA vice chairman Li Yuyi said this week, Xinhua reported.

“If there’s only investment, but no clear idea of what the long-term returns are, Chinese football is not sustainable,” Li added.

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