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Chinese Super League

What I Hate About the CSL

Du Wei being stretchered off

We’re only 3 matches into the season and some things are already making me mad.  I’m not going to make general complaints about the lack of skill or how bad the refereeing is.  I’ve gotten past those things, but some I just can’t deal with.  Here’s my top 5 of annoying/angering Chinese Super League things:

5. Strange scheduling

The Chinese Super League makes odd scheduling decisions all the time.  I’m okay with weeknight matches, some of them are forced on clubs due to concerts, but weekday games?  My first Shenzhen match was a 3 pm start, on a THURSDAY!  It wasn’t a total exception.  I hate that the majority of Guoan’s matches are Sunday night, but I guess I could get over that.  Every year there are multiple weekday afternoon matches, that I can never get over.

4. Lack of information

The European season hasn’t ended and transfer rumors have already began.  In the Chinese Super League, we hear very little of a club’s targets.  Not that it matters, as many would gave never heard of them, but there are also those interested.  Further, almost no salary information ever leaks out.  Id love to know whose contract is ending after this year or how much Guoan is paying in comparison to other clubs.  Tough luck.

3. Crowding the referee

Without fail, the moment a referee makes an even slightly controversial call, he’s surrounded by players from the team the call goes against.  There is no need for a huddle to form around the referee, it’s inappropriate and bush league, plus it has no effect on the actual decision. I’ve heard many in the English Premiership complain about this nasty habit of players, but if they saw how things were in the Chinese Super League, they’d consider their player’s “cultured” in comparison. Let the captain do his job (and maybe one other player) and everyone else just focus on the football.

2. Ignoring the fans

Since the Chinese Super League began, we’ve seen 2 clubs switch provinces (a 3rd was just missed by a season, as Liaoning moved to Beijing a year before the Chinese Super League began) and a number of clubs switch home venues due to renovations.  If you’re a fan of European sports, this is something that simply doesn’t happen, though Americans are growingly used to relocations.  This is a minor point when compared to the fact the schedule only gets released a month before the season, dates get added to the schedule 2 weeks or so before, and season tickets aren’t received until (in some cases) a day or two before the first match.  The fans have zero power in China, tickets are so cheap that the owners aren’t earning any revenue from them (in fact, more often than not they’re losing revenue due to stadium rents), there are no overpriced concessions (often no concessions whatsoever), souveniers don’t really exist (and most people just buy the unlicensed stuff anyways), and the league lacks a tv contract (while teams have them, they produce very little revenue).  All in all, owning a Chinese Super League team is basically a not-for-profit donation that rich businessmen are more or less forced into by the local government.  Considering the circumstances, it’s no surprise the fans are beat down and ignored by the club’s they love and willingly spend money on.

1. Fake injuries

If you thought 2 was bad, there is actually something even worse.  I’ve come to accept that the club completely ignores me and could care less about my presence, it’s sad, yes, but I’ve grown okay with it.  I cannot, will not, accept the time wasting that goes on.  During Guoan’s home opener, Du Wei(no surprise it was a former Shenhua player!) spent a combined total of about 10 minutes lying on the pitch, and yet played all 90 minutes.  Every now and then, he’d just fall over and lay down for 2 minutes.  I’ve singled out one player, but I must admit, when it’s Guoan with a 1 goal lead with 20 minutes or less to play, they pull the same shit, EVERY team in the Chinese Super League does (and I hate my own players when I see them doing it).  The national side does it too.  I’m okay with gamesmanship in football, I’m not even going to complain about the diving, but don’t have every stoppage of play during the last 10 minutes of the match be because there’s somebody lying on the pitch “injured.”  There is gamesmanship, yes, but there’s also honor, play like it!

So what do you dislike about the Chinese Super League?

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused 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 blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Alex

    21/04/2011 at 22:12

    Lack of sportsmanship! Football here is unfortunately only business…

  2. Kenneth

    21/04/2011 at 22:22

    I agree with your points. I’ll add fans throwing crap onto, or near the pitch. Luckily most stadiums have a track, which acts like a moat and protects the players / linesmen from all the objects hurled their direction.

    • greenlion

      22/04/2011 at 13:37

      At least fans has someting to throw, bottles, roll paper, rubbish etc, otherwise they throw themselves in to the pitch hehe

      • Kenneth

        24/04/2011 at 11:40

        Now that would be funny, because the guard dogs would make short work of pitch invaders

  3. Damian

    19/08/2011 at 15:16

    That teams like Beijing and Liaoning are allowed to kick Guangzhou off the park because the CFA doesn’t like a taller poppy.

    • Anonymous

      19/08/2011 at 17:09

      what Beijing were you watching? Beijing should have gubbed Guangzhou at Gongti couple of weeks back

      • Damian

        20/08/2011 at 09:05

        I suggest you watch the game again. There were three separate incidents (all with feet high stud tackles into the leg) which could have received red hards in another country (or stadium).

        Having said that, Beijing surprised me. I was wary of the Beijing threat, especially after the 3 week international break which broke our momentum but I still thought we would sneak a victory.

      • Damian

        20/08/2011 at 09:05

        I suggest you watch the game again. There were three separate incidents (all with feet high stud tackles into the leg) which could have received red hards in another country (or stadium).

        Having said that, Beijing surprised me. I was wary of the Beijing threat, especially after the 3 week international break which broke our momentum but I still thought we would sneak a victory.

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