Chi­nese clubs pay debts af­ter ex­pul­sion threat

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ten Chi­nese Su­per League clubs say they have paid off debts re­lated to player wages, bonuses and trans­fers af­ter 13 of them were threat­ened with ex­pul­sion. Shang­hai Shen­hua, who signed Ar­gen­tine striker Car­los Tevez in Jan­uary on what are be­lieved to be among the high­est wages in world foot­ball, and Os­car’s Shang­hai SIPG are among the top-tier clubs who say their books are now clean.

The Chi­nese Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (CFA) said in a state­ment pub­lished by one team that the Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion had asked 18 top flight and lower league clubs on July 11 to clear their debts by an Au­gust 15 dead­line.

The teams were warned that they could be banned from all AFC matches and next sea­son’s Chi­nese league if they failed to send proof of pay­ment by then. As of Wed­nes­day, 10 CSL clubs in­clud­ing Paulinho’s Guangzhou Ever­grande, bigspend­ing Shang­hai SIPG and Shen­hua said they had cleared their books of debt.

The CSL has 16 teams and only three had not been sent a debt no­tice. The debt sit­u­a­tion of three other clubs-Fabio Can­navaro’s Tian­jin Quan­jian, Tian­jin Teda and Liaon­ing Hongyun-was un­clear. Reign­ing CSL cham­pi­ons Ever­grande said two of the pay­ments in­volved were set­tled in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

“We do not owe any back fees,” the club said in a state­ment late Tues­day on China’s Twit­ter-like Weibo web­site, amid fears that mass ex­pul­sions could wreck the CSL, which has gained in in­ter­na­tional promi­nence af­ter a se­ries of big-name sign­ings.

SIPG, who also shelled out on Os­car’s Brazil­ian in­ter­na­tional team-mate Hulk for a sim­i­larly eye-wa­ter­ing sum, said they had paid the fees men­tioned by AFC in Oc­to­ber last year. “Our club does not have any back fee prob­lem on salary, bonuses and player trans­fer,” SIPG said.

Shen­hua said they have paid 90 per­cent of the fees high­lighted by the AFC but the rest was not set­tled be­cause the other sides never sup­plied bank ac­count num­bers. Shen­hua’s spokesman said the club have asked lawyers to make con­tact with the rel­e­vant par­ties about the rest of the pay­ment and down­played the is­sue as “a false alarm”. The three CSL clubs with no ap­par­ent debt were He­nan Jianye, Yan­bian Fude and Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng. —AFP

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