Sun Pegasus striker Jaimes Mckee has been a mainstay of the Hong Kong team for several years now and is known for his hard work and commitment for the national cause. After Hong Kong’s better than expected run of results in World Cup qualifying , Mckee’s stature in Hong Kong and Asian football has risen further. Here, McKee takes the time to discuss the Chinese Super League and how Hong Kong football could benefit from further involvement in Chinese football.
What do you think of the all the big name signings to the Chinese Super League ?
I think it is quite exciting and it is going to be good for Asian football and it nice for all the Hong Kong players who have moved up to the Chinese Super League to play. I saw that Jack (Sealy of Changchun Yatai) had his first start yesterday so that will be a great experience for those guys though I don’t know how it will affect Hong Kong football but if it can affect it in a positive way then that will be great.
Hopefully it just kicks off well and gets more people interested in Asian football and obviously most people focus on what is going on in Europe at the moment such as the big leagues and the Champions league and it would be nice if people just concentrated on the local leagues and it would give people in Asia, the chance to see great players playing day in and day out, go to the stadiums instead of watching it all on television. I feel that this would be a different experience for fans to go and see these players live so maybe even fans in Hong Kong could go and watch games in China as well. It is a positive thing!
Do you think the huge transfer fees and salaries are justifiable?
It is a tough one. You hope for Asian football that it is sustainable and that clubs will continue and afford to pay players that large amount of money. Obviously, at the moment, I am not sure that there is not as much interest in the Chinese Super league as there is in Europe and obviously these clubs are getting a lot of money from television rights and the amount of people who financially support the team so you do wonder where all this money is coming from in China and would to be sustainable? Though like I said, hopefully for Asian football, it is.
It is a little bit crazy how much football players get paid and football is so popular that players are getting paid so much now that to get the best players you have to pay them a lot of money and obviously China is trying to get the best players and some of the really good players Hopefully is is not a short term thing and that it will get more people in interested in football there (China) and get people in Asia to watch more of the Chinese Super League.
Do you think the HK clubs should enter the Chinese Super League competitions like the Chinese FA Cup?
This is something I thought about before and if Hong Kong football really wants to grow then this could be the best option. Just from the Hong Kong games against China, the interest from the Hong Kong fans was huge and imagine if you had a club in Hong Kong who was playing against Chinese Super League teams; it would just generate so much interest from all the people in Hong kong who could really get behind their local teams. It could be a great opportunity; Hong Kong wants to be independent and have their own league, I always thought having two big Hong Kong teams play in the Chinese Super League would have so much interest in those matches I feel. How that would work I don’t know but something worth thinking about!
Christopher KL Lau is a freelance Writer and Photographer twitter.com/Chris_KL_Lau