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Beijing club worth more than European giants

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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 Atl├ętico 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.

Analysts said the premium could not be justified based on performance - the club finished fifth in last season's CSL - or immediate commercial prospects.   Professor Simon Chadwick of Salford University told the Financial Times, 'This would seem to be an excessive and unrealistic valuation.'

It has all the signs of a bubble, and so far efforts by the rulers of the Middle Kingdom to burst it seem to have had limited success given President Xi Jinping's emphasis on turning China into a great football power.