CFA official explains challenge of keeping up
KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese Football Association (CFA) vice president Zhang Jian says the country ’s football authorities are fighting to keep pace with the rapid growth of the club game in China.
The Chinese Super League has undergone massive growth over the last three years, with transfer fees and wages sky-rocketing as the battle for domestic and regional supremacy has intensified among wealthy owners.
But while the local governing body has sought to keep the rampant spending under control, Fifa Council member Zhang believes his organisation has found it a challenge to stay ahead following major reforms within the CFA last year.
“We’re in the first stage of our professional football development and more and more money is coming into the market and that makes the league very competitive and a lot of people are watching the matches,” Zhang said.
“The Chinese professional league has only 20 years’ history so, compared with Europe, where they have played for more than a hundred years, we’re a very young league.
“But we’re developing very fast and the central government is now very focused on football. The football league is very hot, but our regulations and our administration must fit the league.
“We are facing some challenges. The first challenge is because of the fast improvement the clubs are making, they are developing very fast but the situation is that the CFA has only just reformed and has a new policy direction.
“In the old system, when the CFA published some policies everyone would follow but now because the league is growing we are trying to make a new system... now the CFA and clubs are trying to make sure everything fits for the new model.”
Spending by Chinese clubs has been rampant with the Asian transfer fee record broken three times over an 18-month period before new measures implemented on the eve of the summer transfer window appeared to temporarily cool the market. Reuters