Can China “defeat” Premier League?

Premier League

Chinese Super League has spend some serious money on international stars in this January transfer window. They have outspend majority of clubs in Europe, and they don’t look like stopping. Given Chine’s ambition and prospect, can Super League “defeat” Premier League?

China is one of the biggest countries in the world. It has 1.357 billion people living in it. Its also one of the largest growing markets in the world. Its funny that China’s football league hasn’t already became the dominant force in global football. Reasons for this probably lay in the reserved political environment, but still one wonders why are this big investments only happening now!
Before January transfer window, Chinese clubs did buy foreign “celebrity” football players, but this football players were clearly past it, or they just weren’t that well known in the first place. This transfer window has changed that, because the Chinese clubs have bought some key players playing in their peak.


Ramiers from Chelsea; Alex Texira from Shakhtar; Gervinho from Roma; Jackson Martinez from Atletico, etc. This are all players that could easily play for any top club in Europe. Even more interesting are the values for which they were bought. Martinez was bought for $46 million, and Ramiers for $36 million. All this spending means one thing, and that is ambition.


“Massive changes are happening in Chinese football, and the league is quickly becoming very strong.”


The main reason for this spending spree is probably the new flood of money from TV deals. China Media Capital tied a five year deal for television rights for China’s Super League in value of $1,2 billion. This means that the league will get $240 million every year. Before this deal, league got only $7,5 million every year. That’s a massive difference.


This deal is obviously still behind more prominent leagues in Europe, but this massive increase in value shows that Chinese league is catching up the biggest leagues in the world very quickly (at least financially).


The question is can Chinese Super League “defeat” Premier League?


It probably can, and mostly likely will, but only in a long run. Chinese market is big enough to be self sufficient. This means that TV deals and every other income is only going to go up. All that money is going to bring the biggest football stars, while also motivate and improve homegrown players.


There are two reasons why Chinese football league will probably need a lot of time to “defeat” Premier League.

Firstly, Chinese home grown players aren’t that good, nor well known. Its weird that from the population of more than 1 billion, there isn’t even one “spectacular” player. With all that money (also) coming to youth teams, this will change, but time will be needed to produce top players.

Secondly, there is a limit to foreign players in every Chinese club. Those limit is four foreign players plus one player from Asian countries. This isn’t a lot different from European countries, but its still a major drawback.


Any player in Europe can play for any club in Europe freely, and given that European football is the most advance, you can have in your club a majority of players from other European countries (like Arsenal). In China you can’t do that. The big majority of players are, and are going to be Chinese. This will slowdown Chines clubs ability to build dream teams, at least in the foreseeable future, given that they lack quality homegrown players.

In a way, football powers are slowly changing, but its going to take a lot of time for any big change to happen. Premier League is going to continue dominate the world football, until (most likely) Chinese Super League is going to throw her of her perch. When will this happen, no one knows, but it is (probably) inevitable.