China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS -

academies and soc­cer­fo­cused schools will be built by 2025, ac­cord­ing to China’s soc­cer devel­op­ment plan.

“We are not look­ing for po­ten­tial buy­ers or in­vestors from China. In­stead, we are mak­ing ef­forts to work with more part­ners to pro­mote brands in China, which is a strate­gic po­ten­tial mar­ket for us,” said Cramer.

“Brand pro­mo­tion and ex­pan­sion of the fan base in China are con­sid­ered pri­or­i­ties of fu­ture strat­egy.”

Dort­mund is part of a large sports club with more than 145,000 mem­bers, mak­ing it the sec­ond-largest club by mem­ber­ship in Ger­many.

The club has al­ready opened an of­fice in Shang­hai, which will help run more lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties to in­crease its fan base in China. Build­ing a joint soc­cer acad­emy is a likely next step for it to strengthen its foot­print in China in the near fu­ture, Cramer said.

Other ma­jor in­ter­na­tional soc­cer clubs that have al­ready tapped into Chi­nese tal­ent and mar­kets in­clude an­other ma­jor Bun­desliga team, Bay­ern Mu­nich, which an­nounced plans to open a soc­cer train­ing acad­emy in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince.

The FC Bay­ern Foot­ball School Shen­zhen is the Ger­man gi­ant’s sec­ond train­ing base in China.

Span­ish La Liga ti­tan Barcelona launched a soc­cer acad­emy in Haikou, cap­i­tal of Hainan prov­ince, in Fe­bru­ary in co­op­er­a­tion with golf and tourism ser­vices provider Mis­sion Hills Group.

“Col­lab­o­ra­tion with top over­seas clubs, es­pe­cially in terms of de­vel­op­ing young play­ers, will help to pro­mote China’s soc­cer train­ing as the coun­try strives to be­come a big player in the sport,” said Xie Liang, a vet­eran soc­cer com­men­ta­tor with Ra­dio Guang­dong.

There will be 50,000 academies and soc­cer-fo­cused schools built by 2025, ac­cord­ing to China’s soc­cer devel­op­ment plan.

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