China’s big spend comes as the country tries to raise its football game to a level commensurate with its growing economic and military might. China lost all three of its World Cup matches in 2002, its only appearance, letting in nine goals and scoring none.
“All this craze and investment has come with the appointment of a football-loving president,” Rowan Simons, an author and prominent commentator on Chinese football.
“But the question is does this have long legs? Will it remain once he steps down, and will it actually promote the sport at home?”…
Chinese business magnates openly acknowledge that their footballing investments also have political calculations.
“In general there’s a feeling that the Chinese have been overpaying, especially in some of the player and coach acquisitions,” Simons said.
But beyond the cash paid for the teams and players, Chinese firms are chasing prestige and visibility for their products.
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