Nicholas Anelka, Nigerian Ayegbeni Yakubu and Didier Drogba are a few of the big names picked up by China’s soccer clubs. But it does not mean all is well, says soccer analyst Rowan Simons to AFP, who believe the sport need thorough reforms rather than big names.
But football analysts and players with experience in both the Chinese and English leagues say the big spending amounts to little more than the vanity projects of club owners who should instead be pouring cash into grassroots development.
“The spending is ego-fuelled craziness coming from these big owners, which is not sustainable and will end in disaster in the long run,” Rowan Simons, a prominent Beijing-based commentator on Chinese football, told AFP.
“The level of investment required to bring Drogba and Anelka is totally out of sync with the scale of football.
“When a single player’s salary is several times the entire revenue of the club in a year, I think it is fairly obvious that we have gone the wrong way in one direction.”