takes a look at all the big Chinese sports news stories so you don’t have to. The Spring Festival holiday is over and everyone’s back to work, your man Briefs is no different.
–Samsung has signed a three year agreement to serve as one of the CSL’s sponsors. The large Korean company will pay the league RMB20 million a year and it appears the league has turned a corner and is again able to attract sponsors, though perhaps this is the work of IMG. Other new sponsors in 2013 will be Canon (who already sponsor the CFA Cup) and popular herbal tea, Jiadebao.
–Ethnic Korean youngster and Chinese U22 captain Jin Jingdao has signed with Shandong Luneng. The Jinan based club has been saying they would make a “big” domestic signing before the end of the transfer window and most would agree Jin fits the bill. However, Luneng paid nearly RMB10 million for Jin, leading some to wonder if they’ve overpaid.
–There’s an odd story going around that David Beckham will serve as the global ambassador of the CSL. If true, it appears IMG is using their massive power to lean on Becks, but it boggles the mind why the CSL would want Beckham, who never played in the league, as an ambassador. How much can he really represent the league? What makes it even weirder is that he’s apparently going to be making 50 million euros over five years for this role. What?!? For that amount I’d think a CSL club would easily have purchased him, gotta wonder what the CSL is thinking if this is true.
–Perhaps Luneng’s big signing isn’t Jin. Rumors abound that the club is pursuing Liaoning’s striker Yang Xu. Many clubs have been connected to the striker, but so far he’s stayed in Shenyang, is this the window where he finally moves?
–Qingdao Jonoon’s captain, Zheng Long, looked set to join Guizhou Renhe for a reported fee of RMB10 million and a loan deal for defender Li Kai. For the past two seasons, the 24 year old Zheng has been one of the players most often featured in transfer talks, his move to Guizhou shows that the southwest side is once again serious about competing. However, in an interview with the club’s GM, he’s insisted this deal has not been completed yet (we’ll have that full interview for you shortly).
–Beijing Guoan’s troubles with Brazilian signings have continued, as Andre Lima failed his physical due to a knee issue. Guoan decided to sign him anyways and has released last season’s additions Manu and Francois.
–Other clubs who’ve added foreigners as of late: Shandong Luneng won the sweepstakes for Romanian Marius Niculae, Nigerian attacker Chukwuma Akabueze has joined Wuhan Zall, and 32 year old Brazilian striker Itamar Batista is going to (try to) replace Didier Drogba at Shanghai Shenhua.
–Shanghai Shenhua has done something almost unheard of, their season tickets actually dropped in price, from RMB800 last season to RMB500 this year. A major price reduction, but without Anelka and Drogba, and with a side that is in danger of relegation, it’s a real must.