takes a look at all the big Chinese news stories from the weekend so you don’t have to. I hate when things get all about Shanghai Shenhua as much as all of you do, but today it’s heavy on Shenhua because that’s where the news is. Anyways, if you haven’t competed our (short!!!) 9 question survey yet, please do so! We are very greatful to all who have helped out and will take all the feedback we get to heart.
–Zhu Jun drops a bomb during Shenhua’s shareholder meeting stating that if the ownership structure isn’t worked out by the end of this month, he will turn to “Plan B”, which includes moving the club (Zhu already has three cities in mind) and letting go of big contracts like that of Drogba, Anelka, and Batista. While this seems like an idle threat, the shareholding issues brought the team to the brink during the season and led to failure to pay salaries. I don’t see Zhu moving the team, but this isn’t the first time he’s threatened this.
–More from Shenhua, it appears that Wu Xi is very close to joining Jiangsu Sainty. The transfer fee looks to be around RMB20 million for the young defender and the move would show the Nanjing side’s seriousness about their ACL campaign. At the same time, the loss would be devastating to Shenhua.
–One more Shenhua story and that’s it, the club has brought Shen Xiangfu to Shanghai. Shen, who was last in charge of Henan during their late season relegation struggle, is one of the more respected Chinese managers, but he’d be joining Shenhua as an assistant. An unusual move for someone who was last an assistant in 1997 and a move that can only lead to instability with Batista.
–Jiang Ning wants out of Evergrande and is looking to return home to Luneng. The 26 year old Qingdao native doesn’t feel like he’s gotten enough of a shot under Lippi and is looking to move during the close season. Shandong is his first choice, though whether Luneng can meet Evergrande’s price tag has yet to be seen.
–On the subject of Shandong, word is they have a new target for manager. News out of Norway is that they are looking at that nation’s former national team manager, Åge Hareide, who has spent his career coaching in that country.
–Evergrande’s Chairman Liu Yongzhuo has been in Italy lately and his trip was fruitful. The double winners have signed a cooperative agreement with AC Milan (more on this to come) that is likely to include AC Milan setting up a football training school in China. Whether this will conflict with the school that Evergrande has in the works with Real Madrid remains to be seen.
–It’s been snowing a lot in northern China lately, but that’s no reason to stop playing footie, just ask the boys in Henan.
–Struggles continue for the Chinese women as they lost 4-0 to the US in Houston. That result sees the Chinese team go 120 minutes without scoring a goal, while giving up six to the current gold medalists. The two sides will meet one last time on Saturday in Florida.
WEF is greatly honoured to have aboard B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese bloggersphere.
Cheng has been the other lonely soul blogging in English about Chinese football over the last few years. With both Cheng and WEF’s editor linking back and forth to each others’ sites on a regular basis, it was probably inevitable that they would eventually join forces to try to illuminate and decipher the curious world of Chinese football, with their combined musings.
Cheng’s credentials are second to none – his blog focuses not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese bloggersphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. Cheng very generously decided to climb aboard and give WEF his views on the issue of the Chinese footballing day.