China’s government seems ready to curb the recent splurge of crazy football spending by clubs in that country.
That will be good news for the English Premier league, with some there beginning to worry that the Chinese are emerging as a serious threat to the established order of world football.
Morton keeper Andy McNeil’s decision to join Super League club Guangzhou R&F as a coach may be well down the pecking order of the big names the Chinese have been linked with, but it’s growing evidence of the opportunities in that huge country at all levels of the game.
The Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was surprised by Oscar’s recent £60 million move from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG, and has openly wondered if China represents a threat to the dominance of the English league.
With wages of £614,000 a week currently being paid to Carlos Tevez at Shanghai Shenhua, Wenger’s concern is not an idle one.
With a population of 1.3 billion, and massive cities with huge crowd potential, the game there has the potential to eclipse football in Europe if the Chinese are really serious about promoting the sport.
Previously it’s been thought that the TV audience was the growth area, but with the strength of the economy combined with the population, some now see the Chinese league as a serious future threat.
The quality of league which players play in is hugely important to them, and the top players are very well paid in most big European countries, with England well ahead of the pack.
However, the Chinese are offering mega money to attract players and unless their government follows through on its promise to regulate and restrain spending, it may only be a matter of time before they can entice not only those in the twilight of their careers, but also those players at the top of their game.
That could turn football on its head in England and the other big European leagues.
* Hibs and Dundee United filled Easter Rd to bursting point last night proving two things.
Firstly, there is a great appetite for Scottish football when there is real competition and, secondly, that the Championship can outdraw the Premiership at the turnstiles.
If those in charge of running the game can figure out how to make those kinds of crowds a more regular occurrence, our national sport would improve overnight.
The English game is often no better than ours but slick marketing and full grounds on television give it that appearance.
* Dundee Hawkhill Harrier Laura Muir will captain the British team today at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country.
23-year-old Muir, who broke the British indoor 5000 metre record in Glasgow on Wednesday night is going from strength to strength.
She finished seventh in 2016 in the 1500m Olympic final, broke the British 1500m record twice and won the Diamond League title.
She is emerging as a truly exciting talent and having beaten the 25-year-old record of Dundee’s own Liz McColgan last week, it looks as though we can celebrate another potentially world class track star.