Still searching for ways to deal with the financial impact of COVID-19, Chinese soccer returns on April 22. 

The upcoming season will see the Chinese Super League (CSL) grow from 16 teams to 18. 

This may come as a surprise, with some of the league’s top clubs folding in the past few years. 

In 2020, Chinese mega-corporation Suning unexpectedly abandoned their Jiangsu-based soccer club. As a result, Jiangsu Suning, the league’s defending champions, ceased operation

This came with the news that the club had failed to pay player wages. Their failure to pay was in no small part due to the impact of COVID-19 on China’s economy. 

Likewise, many other clubs playing in the league have recently struggled to pay wage bills. 

Guangzhou FC has won the CSL more than any other team in history. But just this month, the club announced that they would limit their salary expenses to 600,000 yuan – the equivalent of $95,000 USD – for the upcoming season. 

This means that most of the club’s stars must leave. That is, if they haven’t already.

Guangzhou FC, above in a match with Jiangsu Suning, has drastically limited their salary cap.



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Tommy Barnes

Tommy Barnes is a student majoring in Film Production and Chinese Studies at Oakland University. Tommy loves Asian art, especially Chinese and Taiwanese film.