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Asian Leagues

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City to expand global reach

Manchester City's owners are assessing a number of locations as they consider expanding their network of clubs.   The City Football Group already owns New York City and Melbourne City and has a share in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

The Chinese Super League has been identified as a market with potential, while there have been reports of a possible move into South America.   Neither of these locations offers much in the way of gate money, but City may see commercial revenue opportunities.

Top Chinese club phase out foreign players

China's top football team has pledged to phase out foreign players after the government called on clubs to stop 'burning money' on 'irrational' international transfers, amid a wider crackdown on capital outflows.

Guanzhou Evergrande, winner of the Chinese Super League (CSL) for the last six seasons, led the way in the importation of foreign talent.   They spent several hundred million dollars, winning the Asian club championship in 2013 and 2015.

Premiership clubs make profit in transfer window

Premier League clubs made a net profit of £4m in the transfer window compared with a loss of £109m last year, according to figures from the Premier League. This January's transfer window saw the biggest spend ever of £237m, compared with £178m last year. Sales amounted to £241m.

According to figures from Deloitte Sports Business, the gross spend by Premier League clubs in the 2016/17 season totals £1.4 billion, surpassing the previous record of £1 billion by more than a third.

How big is the Chinese Super League?

Watford's Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo was the last player to move to the Chinese Super League in the transfer window.  He went to Changchun Yatai in the north of China for £20m.   Full details of the players who have made a lucrative move can be found here.

Global transfers hit record

According to Fifa's Transfer Matching System (TMS), the total spend on transfer fees worldwide was $4.8bn in 2016, a 14.3 per cent increase compared with the previous year and well above inflation.

Since 2010, all clubs are required to record transfer deals through the TMS.  14,951 deals were concluded in 2016, the highest number ever, and about a thousand more than the previous year.

Beijing club worth more than European giants

The top Beijing team, Beijing Guoan, has been sold to a local property developer at a $800m valuation, suggesting that it is worth more than European giants such as AC Milan and Atlético Madrid.

Sinobo Land is buying 64 per cent of the club from Citic, a state-owned investment group for Rmb3.6bn valuing it at Rmb5.6bn ($807m).  This would rank Beijing Guoan alongside the 15 most valuable clubs in Europe, according to KPMG estimates.

Chinese offer not big enough for Saints

The Chinese wave in English football has broken on the shores of the Solent, but Southampton FC consider that the offer they have been made is not big enough.   They are also annoyed that news of the bid was broken on the Shenzhen stock exchange that agreement had been reached in principle, breaching the confidentiality of talks.

United top money league

The latest edition of the Deloitte Money League has appeared.  Aggregate revenue for the top 20 Money League clubs rose 12% to €7.4 billion (£5.5 billion) in 2015/16, a new record, with three clubs breaking the €600m barrier.   The infographic below shows the evolution of the Money League over the last twenty years.

China cracks down on foreign players

China has cut the number of foreign players allowed to play in each football match from four to three per team, although five will be allowed in the match day squad (one has to be Asian).   There will also have to be one Chinese player under 23 on the pitch.

Has Chinese spending got out of hand?

Soocer economics guru Stefan Szymanski thinks that, among the Asian nations, China is most likely to produce a globally competitive soccer league in the next decade.   That is because it is following the European model: spend, spend, spend.