Weekend Post (South Africa)

Big-spending Chinese Super League returns

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THE Chinese Super League will take another step towards global soccer recognitio­n when it returns this week, boasting some of the world’s best-paid players and a growing audience.

When Argentina’s Carlos Tevez (pictured) makes his league debut for Shanghai Shenhua, fans from Liaoning to Liverpool can tune in to see what can be bought with reported world-record wages of ß730 000 (R10-million) a week.

Despite an official crackdown on transfer fees and wages, and a cut in the number of foreign players allowed, Super League clubs spent a record

ß396 million (R5.5-billion) in the January-February transfer window, outstrippi­ng the English Premier League.

The lavish spending has prompted feverish speculatio­n about who will be next, and it would be no surprise to see England captain Wayne Rooney, 31, heading east for a late-career payday.

China’s top tier became the fifth-biggest-spending league worldwide last year but whether the CSL, which is also broadcast in Brazil and various countries in Asia, can live up to the hype is another matter. –AFP

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