Pre­mier League holds its 2019 Asian Tro­phy in China

Global Times US Edition - - BIZCONSULA­TE - By Qi Xi­jia

Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers de­feated Manch­ester City to claim the Pre­mier League Asia Tro­phy in a 3 to 2 penalty shootout in Shang­hai on Satur­day. Four clubs in­clud­ing Manch­ester City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers par­tic­i­pated in the Pre­mier League Asia Tro­phy, which took place in Shang­hai and Nan­jing this year.

“I think that is re­ally ex­cit­ing be­cause that gives the broad op­por­tu­nity for more fans to en­gage in foot­ball,”

said Chris Wood, the new British Con­sul Gen­eral in Shang­hai, about the Pre­mier League Asia Tro­phy’s re­turn to the Chi­nese main­land since it was held in Bei­jing in 2009.

Aside from fan en­gage­ment, Wood be­lieves it also brings a fas­ci­nat­ing op­por­tu­nity for youth de­vel­op­ment be­tween China and the UK through collaborat­ion, coach­ing and train­ing.

The Pre­mier League has been work­ing with the British Coun­cil for sev­eral years on a pro­gram called Pre­mier Skills, which has trained 5,000 soc­cer coaches who have reached out to over 1 million young Chi­nese soc­cer play­ers, Wood said.

“This is build­ing the re­la­tion­ships for the fu­ture,” he added.

Af­ter be­com­ing the new British Con­sul Gen­eral in Shang­hai in July, Wood said that a large part of his work would be to fur­ther pro­mote the eco­nomic and trade ties be­tween the UK and China, along with pro­mot­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paigns and aca­demic and re­search con­nec­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

“Trade is a huge im­por­tant part of the re­la­tion­ship. Our trade re­la­tion­ship is grow­ing very rapidly. The UK and China trade re­la­tion­ship now runs at over 68.5 bil­lion pounds ($91.18 bil­lion). That’s dou­bled in a relatively short time in all sorts of sec­tors. Sports is just one part of it,” Wood said.

Pho­tos: Yang HUI/GT

Speak­ers share their views on the soc­cer in­dus­try at the Sport Busi­ness Sum­mit on Fri­day.

Chris Wood, British Con­sul Gen­eral in Shang­hai

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