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Football economy in China

A couple of weeks ago I was in Beijing. Although growth may have slowed somewhat, and there are some problems in the financial system, not least in terms of local government debt, it remains a vibrant and dynamic economy. Indeed, if you take away the language and the cuisine, Beijing could be a large American city.

We therefore welcome this contributed article by Thibaud Andre.

J League Average Attendances 2006 to 2013

The average attendance for J League Div 1 clubs in 2013 was 17,226 (18 clubs in division) and for J League 2 clubs it was 6,665 (22 clubs). The best supported side in Japanese professional football in 2013 was Urawa Red Diamonds with an average league attendance of 37,100.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima were champions in 2013 and averaged 16,209 spectators.

Can football take hold in India?

Can football make headway in the most fanatical cricket nation in the world, India?  The Indian Super League is modelled on the Indian Premier League cricket competition which, despite some recent problems, has been a commercial success.

Business figures ranging from steel billionaire Saijan Jindal to Bollywood film mogul Shahrukh Kahn are expected to enter franchise bids for the new eight club, two month tournament which kicks off in September.   Owners will be expected to bid at least Rs1.2bn ($20m) for ten year franchises.

Indian Super League bids invited

An advert in the Financial Times today invites bids to establish teams in the Indian Super League. The 'first edition' of this city based football league will take place between Srptember and November 2014.

Bids are invited from prospective team owners for nine cities: Bengaluru, Chenna, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Franchises will be granted for eight of these cities.

Hope for Chinese football?

Chinese football has been beset by match fixing scandals and poor infrastructure for the development of home grown players. However, in November Guagzhou Evengrade became the first Chinese team to win the Asian Champions League by beating FC Seoul.

Previously known as Guangzhou Pharmaceutical, the team was acquired in 2010 by the Evergrande Real Estate Group. Since then it has won the Chinese Super League three times.

Football in India facing a struggle

The Indian economy has been in trouble recently and this can't help attempts to build up football in a country where cricket is by far and away the most popular sport. With a seventh I-League season starting, prospects for real progress seem limited.

Boosting football in India

The example of the Premier League casts a long shadow.  Much criticised domestically, it is seen as a business model to emulate across the world.

Chinese football remains in a muddle

China is seen as a great untapped market by Premier League clubs, but there are also hopes that the domestic game will get itself established.   But although there is plenty of money around, it is often not well used and the result is muddle, confusion and often worse.

The arrival of two world class footballers, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, at Shanghai Shenhua was seen as a sign of better things to come.  But all that resulted as far as Mr Anelka was concerned was what one Chinese newspaper described as '414 days of farce'.

What prospects for the Asian Champions' League?

It took a long time for Asian nations to create professional football leagues.   Even now, a lot of time is spent watching matches on television from the Premier League or La Liga.   Globalisation spreads interest in football, and it both stimulates and constrains its local development.

Football bosses jailed in Chinese match fixing case

China has put two dozen former football officials, players, coaches and referees behind bars in an attempt to clean up the game which has been rife with corruption.  Two former national soccer chiefs and the disgraced national football team captain each got ten and half a years to enjoy the amenities of the country's prisons.