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Meeting Corruption In Football Head-On Pays Major Dividends

10 years ago

In marked contrast to the riches flowing from TV deals into Premier League clubs like Newcastle United, the Chinese Super League had hit rock bottom.

Match fixing was perceived to be so endemic with whole teams believed to be throwing matches on behalf of betting syndicates, that TV refused to air domestic matches. This only increased the intense interest in leagues such as the English Premier League.

In 2010 the authorities said enough was enough and when they decide to act in China they don’t appear to do things by half. The clean up has led to over twenty jail sentences given out to referees, players,and coaches, with the disgraced national team captain getting ten and a half years, along with two former national football administrators.

The crackdown has certainly improved things no end as companies who had turned their back on the league are now queuing up for commercial deals.

With the Chinese league now cash rich, it is becoming the ‘go to’ place for players like Anelka and Drogba to see out their careers.

Obviously they will trot out the ‘looking for new experiences/challenges’ blah blah blah but Anelka was reported to have more than doubled his Chelsea salary and become the fifth best paid player in the world, when he joined Shanghai Shenhua in the middle of last season.

One of the big selling points for English football around the world is the fact it is seen as very clean and fair in terms of how rarely there is any suggestion of foul play, unlike numerous European countries such as Italy who suffer from a tainted image.


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