Carlos Tevez arrives in China to hero’s welcome following big-money move from Boca Juniors to Shanghai Shenhua.

The Chinese Football Association has unveiled more new rules, including setting limits on transfer fees and salaries, in a further attempt to restrict Chinese clubs’ “irrational” spending.

The CFA announced “18 regulations” through its official website yesterday, a day after its national congress concluded in Wuhan, central Hubei Province, this week. Details regarding some points in the regulations will be made clear after opinions are gathered from clubs in the country’s top-two tier leagues.

“The development of China’s professional leagues should follow the direction of FIFA, AFC, and other powerful countries,” CFA president Cai Zhenhua said. “When there are new rules, they should be followed, even though clubs may have a difference of opinion over some details.”

Apart from cutting the number of foreign players allowed for each Chinese Super League match from four to three, of which the clubs were informed last week, the new regulations have added some financial restrictions. Salary and bonus caps will be set for clubs, as well as a transfer-fee upper limit. For the exceeded amount, the CFA will charge a certain percentage of money that will be put in a football development fund.

Take Shanghai SIPG for example. It paid Chelsea a record 60 million euros (US$64 million) for Brazil international Oscar this year. If the upper limit is set at 30 million euros, SIPG would have to pay extra for the 30 million euros that exceeded the limit. The exact figure for the so-called fine is yet to be decided.

A club’s annual investment will also be restricted. If a club reports an annual income of 100 million yuan (US$14.57 million), its annual investment should not be more than 200-300 million yuan under the new rules. Whether the investment limit is at twice or thrice the amount of income is not clear yet.

“I think some clubs have been vying with each other, paying 10 or 20 million for foreign players who actually are worth 1 or 2 million,” said Ma Chengquan, director of CFA’s professional league committee. “The market has been disrupted, and we want (the new regulations) to stop the abnormal phenomenon.

“The regulation (to cut the number of foreign players) was not introduced all of a sudden. We informed and collected opinions from managers of the clubs at meetings last year. The national team and national youth teams are facing player shortage problems. We should give Chinese players more chances on the pitch.”

As for the development of youth teams, the “18 regulations” say each CSL club should have three youth teams — under 19, U17 and U15 — by the end of 2019, while Chinese League One clubs should own U17 and U15 teams. The investment in youth teams shall be no less than 15 percent of a club’s annual spend.

Other new regulations pertain to qualifications of professional clubs’ coaches, training-base facilities, introduction of a third-party auditing company to monitor clubs’ financial status, etc. Clubs withholding players’ wages will face punishment, including cancelation of their registration.

The CFA said the “18 regulations” are based on UEFA’s financial fair play rules.

Shanghai Daily


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