THE strictest ever expenditure and salary cap will be implemented in all levels of professional leagues next season, the Chinese Football Association announced yesterday.
In top flight, the Chinese Super League, the pre-tax annual income of an overseas player should be no more than 3 million euros (US$3.63 million), while the maximum salary for a domestic player is 5 million yuan (US$765,000) per year before tax.
“The policy aims to curb the investment bubbles in our leagues and promote the healthy and sustainable development of professional football,” the CFA document read.
More importantly, the new rules state that all professional teams will be barred from showing the names of corporate sponsors on their playing shirts or provide any information on the jerseys other than the club name and its home city or province.
All but one of the 16 teams in the league uses its sponsor as part of its official name. The changes are expected to be implemented before the start of the 2021 season.
CSL Clubs can only spend a maximum total of 600 million yuan every year including a 10 million euros expenditure cap for all overseas players.
A CFA source told Xinhua that the average annual expenditure for CSL clubs was about 1.1 billion yuan in 2018 season, with the majority of them facing losses.
“The CSL club expenditure is about ten times higher than South Korea’s K-League and three times higher than Japan’s J-League. But our national team is lagging far behind,” the CFA president Chen Xuyuan said.
Clubs must sign new contracts with players for the new season. For those athletes whose previous contract values are above the cap, their clubs can sign supplemental agreements to make up the difference within three years.
If any hiding behavior or contract forgery is found, errant clubs will be forced into relegation and the players involved banned for two years.