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SBD Global/December 3, 2013/International Football

English Premier League Inks Cooperation Deal With Chinese Super League

Ping-pong diplomacy gave way to its football equivalent on Monday when the EPL, part of British PM David Cameron's delegation to China, "agreed to help nurture the sport in its most promising growth market," according to REUTERS. The Chinese Super League "will give marketing advice to the Premier League and its clubs in China in exchange for help fostering elite youth and community football there, part of a deal inked on the first of the prime minister's three-day visit." The Premier League and British Council "also announced plans to expand" a coaching and referee training program under the Chinese Ministry of Education called Premier Skills with the aim of reaching more than 1.2 million Chinese students by '16 (REUTERS, 12/2). The AP reported other forms of cooperation include working on development and marketing with clubs in the top-flight CSL, "which had suffered from low attendance, poor marketing and widespread corruption among players, coaches and officials before finding its feet in recent years." The Chinese league "will also help promote the Premier League, which sees the Chinese market for its matches as having the best growth prospects in the world." The East Asian market is already worth around £200M ($328M) a year to the Premier League (AP, 12/2).

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