Chinese Super League Transfer Window Comes To Quiet Close Due To Government Mandate
When the Chinese Super League summer transfer window closed at midnight on Friday, the country's authorities "could feel quietly satisfied and declare their mission to cool the hyper-inflated player market a success," according to Michael Church of REUTERS. Previous windows "had seen the Asian transfer record shattered three times in 18 months." The big-money signings and high wages "were threatening to spiral out of control," and when Hebei China Fortune paid Beijing Guoan €20M ($22.9M) for local defender Zhang Chengdong, the authorities "stepped in to calm rampant over-spending." Regulations implemented on June 14 saw football authorities impose a 100% levy on foreign signings of more than 40M yuan ($5.9M), "leaving clubs uncertain of how to tackle the altered landscape." Speculation "that had raged for months" linking "high-profile" strikers such as Chelsea's Diego Costa and Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with moves to the CSL on deals worth more than €100M ($114.7M) "shuddered to a halt almost overnight" (REUTERS, 7/15). The AFP reported University of Salford sports business professor Simon Chadwick said that the transfer tax and limits on the number of foreign players to three a match "killed" the market. Chinese clubs were under "heavy pressure from the government" to stop spending on foreign talent. Chadwick: "Clubs have erred on the side of caution and desisted from making the kind of high-profile, high-value signings that we have seen over the last few years. The state has effectively spoken and when the [Chinese] state speaks, people in organizations are expected to listen" (AFP, 7/16).