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Volume 6 No. 232

Finance

Chinese Super League clubs "are in a combined debt" of more than £450M ($602M), an audit by accounting firm PwC revealed, according to Seth Vertelney of GOAL. The report "is likely to raise more questions about the sustainability of a league that has made headlines with its massive spending in recent seasons." Players like Oscar, Hulk, Carlos Tevez, Alex Teixeira and Ramires have moved to the CSL in recent seasons for "massive transfer fees." Those players "have brought star power to the league, but the long-term viability of the CSL has been brought into question" by the huge spending of many of the clubs' owners. Were any of those owners to walk away, "it could trigger a widespread financial crisis" in the CSL. According to the PwC report, CSL clubs' total revenues reached £797M last season. However, those clubs spent a total of £1.24B, meaning the amount of debt accrued by the 16 CSL clubs is up to £450M. Commercial sponsorships were the "main source of revenue" for CSL clubs last season, accounting for 64% of the total amount. That was followed by TV and broadcasting (14%), player transfers (11%), government subsidies (6%), gate and matchday (3%) and others (2%) (GOAL, 12/6).

Beijing-based sports marketing company Shankai Sports received a $45M Series B investment from private equity firm Yao Capital, founded by Yao Ming and investor David Han, the former managing director of The Carlyle Group, according to Juliet Shwe Gaung of DEAL STREET ASIA. Shankai Sports provides sports sponsorships, event management and authorization services and has partners including the IOC, FIFA and UEFA. It also recently signed an agreement to manage the operations of PGA Tour China. Shankai Sports will handle PGA Tour China’s new series for a 20-year period starting in '18. Yao Capital is a "private equity investment firm" focused on sports-themed opportunities both in China and globally (DEAL STREET ASIA, 12/10).