The difference between a thriving Saudi league and a Chinese league that has been around for a while.
▲ Park Gong-won’s soccer scene As
the Saudi Arabian Professional League is growing rapidly with enormous financial power on its back, there is a league that naturally draws 토토사이트 attention. I’m talking about the Chinese Super League, which just recently exuded an unusual energy. While the Saudi Arabia league is booming this time, there are quite a few people who think it will collapse like the Chinese Super League one day. However, the prospect that Saudi Arabia will not collapse like China is more dominant.
Saudi Arabia’s sports investment largely stems from two strategies. The first is to create greater wealth by reinvesting the enormous income it has earned as an oil-producing country. Fundamentally, the sports investment they invest in, including football, is aimed at making a profit.
The second is to break away from the negative perception that Korea is a country that does not properly guarantee human rights. Some criticize it as ‘sports washing’, but in any case, Saudi Arabia is gradually building an image as an ’emerging sports industry’. Of course, investments in infrastructure and youth development are also carried out at the same time, and are run according to a plan based on a long-term vision. It has a clear goal.
What would China be like? In 2014, China announced a 10-year plan to grow the size of its domestic sports industry to $800 billion (about 1,073 trillion won). When the Chinese government came up with this proposal, each local government responded enthusiastically. Each of them raised local budgets and invested in the sports industry.
And large corporations and individual investors who saw it followed suit. In particular, large real estate-related conglomerates that were promised tax benefits jumped in. As the investment was concentrated like this, a huge number of players stepped on the Chinese soil. This is because they were able to guarantee financial treatment comparable to the superstars of the European Big 5 leagues.
But after entering 2020, everything has changed. The Chinese government tightened regulations on real estate investment in 2020. It was a fatal blow in that the driving force of the Super League was the wealth of real estate conglomerates. In addition, from 2021, the company name was excluded from the club name. Although it is already subject to regulations, it is not possible to publicize its name, so the interest of each club’s parent company has declined even more.
In addition, the campaign to eradicate corruption in the Chinese soccer world, which began at the end of last year, also played a role. The Chinese government said that it would go through a major cleanup by 2025, but funds were forced to dry up as regulations and even the cutting edge were swung. Some clubs were in a situation where they could not pay their players wages.
Here, the investment was simply focused on recruiting famous players. This climate can also be found in Japan’s J-League in the early 1990s, but at that time Japan was faithful to the basics. It also focused on expanding infrastructure for the development of national soccer and nurturing leaders and youth. But China didn’t have that. As funds dried up, they had no choice but to give up players helplessly, and since there was no profit reaped through reinvestment, the foundation of the league was bound to be shaken.
We cannot rule out the possibility that China will make massive investments again after the purification in the football world, but it is certain that it will be difficult to succeed in the same way as before. It’s not just that you can spend a lot of money, but you need to find a way to make new profits through reinvestment like Saudi Arabia.