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    Is the Chinese Super League a real threat to the English Premier League?


    With rumours flying around that Diego Costa has been unsettled by a enormous offer from a Chinese club and the player missing out this weekend in the game against Leicester City are we now looking at a league which will rival the Premier League in terms of attracting the best players around the world?

    The Premier League is considered by many including myself to be the best league in the world. This is largely due to the spending firepower of the clubs involved which allows some of the best players from around the globe to be enticed to play here. Whilst other leagues may have the best players in the world they can not match the excitement and unpredictability of this league. The presence that the league has around the world is also currently unmatched by any other with fans of all of the teams spread around the world.

     La Liga has undoubtedly got the best players in the world in Ronaldo and Messi however there are only ever three teams that can win that league in Barcelona and the two Madrid clubs. I do like many others enjoy watching those teams play but the entertainment value isn't there as much for me as in the Premier League any team can beat each other on their day whereas when the top sides play lower teams in the Spanish top flight it is almost a question of how many are they going to concede. The Bundesliga is also another league which attracts big stars but again there isn't the strength in depth and so with La Liga it doesn't have the same popularity around the world as the Premier League.

    Chinese football has been not been any kind of threat to any of the European Leagues in any department that is until recently. Some well named stars from world football have been tempted by big money offers and have moved to the far east to play in the Chinese Super League. Names such as Carlos Tevez, Oscar, Hulk and Ezequiel Lavezzi. The idea of players going to inferior leagues for large amounts of money has been going on for a long time however in the past it was seen as a last pay day before retirement when a player has given their best years in a top league. Gary Lineker went to Chinese club Grampus Eight to retire and Steven Gerrard went to La Galaxy as did Robbie Keane.

    With some of these players going to the Chinese Super League currently we are seeing a different trend as players with many playing years ahead of them are making the switch. Players like Oscar who is young, very talented and playing for one of the best countries in world football has taken a real risk I feel and gone to a league where he can not prove anything or realistically become a better player as he will be playing with inferior players. I understand that money is the reason he has gone there however he would get around £100,000 a week in a European League is that not enough? I have seen the argument that if somebody offered me five times my wages to do the same job would you take it and the answer is obviously yes but football is a very different industry. These players are already on obscene amounts of money and will never want for anything so what can Oscar buy himself and his family now that he could not afford at Chelsea? Maybe I am just blinded by my love for the game but if you asked me would I rather tell my children and grandchildren stories of how I won the Premier League and played with and against some of the best players of all time or how I made this much money playing football in China the first would win every time and I would also still have all the money I could ever want. The move also puts into doubt his international career which I believe is the biggest honour in a players career, as his performances will not mean a thing in that league.

    I can understand players going to China for example Carlos Tevez is coming to the end of a career in which he has worked very hard and won a lot of trophies why shouldn't he take the massive wages being offered. In doing so he is securing generations of family will never want for anything. He has proved himself and will be remembered as a brilliant player. Many players would not go to China until they have achieved what they would like to in the sport and I believe Tevez is one of those. The same can be said for a player like Cristiano Ronaldo who was subjected to a huge offer from China recently. I can see him going there for the last year of his career but not before as he is and has always been about breaking records and writing himself into the history books and I credit him for that.

    I have seen a lot of comments saying the money Chinese clubs are offering is ruining football and to a certain extent I agree however is what they are doing really that different to what we in England are doing to other leagues in buying their players? I obviously am a huge fan of English football but we have been picking the best players from all other European leagues for years and they are a pivotal reason our league is so popular. The financial might of the clubs in the English top flight is unrivalled except by Barcelona and Real Madrid. Some English clubs have paid huge fees for overseas players and teams from other leagues must feel the same way we now do about Chinese clubs.

    Chinese football are proposing rules to curb this mass spending spree with a limit on foreign players and goals from Chinese players counting double. These rules show a willingness to promote talent within showing that the leagues organisers do not want to pack there squads with foreign talent and are determined to produce quality players from China. These measures also say to me that the Chinese Super League is not a real threat to the big leagues in Europe despite the large spending currently and is probably going to be a flash in the pan league. Instead of people complaining of the money that the clubs are spending and saying that China is ruining football I believe that maybe we should be looking at the players who are going over there and their motives. They may be very good players but they are solely motivated by money not glory and is that what we want in the Premier League? I for one want to see passion and determination just as much as quality. The Premier League is already the biggest brand in world football I do not see the Chinese Super League as a threat to that, if some players want to go there that is fine its their choice but lets focus on our league and hope it continues to excite fans around the world and continue its reputation as the best league in the world.

    James Kendrick


     
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