While the Chinese Football Association has yet to make a public announcement at this time, it appears that Alain Perrin will be China’s next national team manager. The Frenchman is currently in Qingyuan, Guangdong, where the national team will meet and train before heading to UAE for their clash against Iraq, meeting with CFA officials and current manger Fu Bo.
Despite the lack of an announcement, CFA Vice President Yu Hongchen has openly told the media that, “the head coach of the national team has already been decided – it’s Perrin.” The new manager has 15 years experience in France, where he managed Lyon to a league and cup double in 2008, as well as having coached Portsmouth and multiple Qatari sides. He will be in charge of the side when they take on Iraq next week.
As late as this week, it seemed that the CFA had yet to make a decision and that former Beijing Guoan manager Alexsandar Stanojevic was the likely favorite to take over the national team. It appears Perrin won out in the end because the CFA liked his experience in “West Asia”, where China often struggles, and he was able to accept all the CFA’s conditions. One of the key conditions was salary, unlike his predecessor Jose Antonio Camacho, who was on $6 million, Perrin’s salary is said to be below $1 million a year.
Guangzhou Evergrande manager Marcello Lippi was seen as the CFA’s top choice for the position, but he has stated he would remain with Evergrande in 2014. However, last week Lippi rejected a contract renewal with Evergrande and said he would leave the club at the end of the year, adding to speculation that Perrin will only be a transitional manager and that if/when China suits up in Australia next year, it will be Lippi on the sideline.
Whether Lippi is put in charge of China, for now Perrin is the manager and while he may come off as a slightly uninspiring choice, his experience and trophies, although modest, are an improvement over Camacho.