Connect with us

The Chinese Football Podcast

China Korea, CSL Expansion and do long international breaks work? – The Chinese Football Podcast

China – Korea tensions in World Cup qualification, possible CSL expansion and the effectiveness, or otherwise, of extended international breaks are on the agenda this week.

With host Christopher Atkins, plus resident panelists Cameron Wilson and Brandon Chemers

Stream the cast using the player below, subscribe on itunes, listen on stitcherdownload or check out other subscription options.

Each week we ask our listeners to ask the panelists a question or suggest a topic to be discussed on the show – let us know in the comments below, or join in the discussion on Twitter using hashtag #chinafootypodcast


A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.



  1. jrbh

    22/03/2017 at 21:26

    As an American of a certain age, I lived through the expansion era in American sports. When I was a kid, there were 20 MLB teams, not 30, six NHL teams, not 30. I think the NBA had 12 teams (also 30 now) and the NFL something like 24 (not 32).

    My recollection is that each time there was an expansion, the quality of play ALWAYS nosedived the first year, was still noticeably a little off the second year, but recovered by the third year or so as coaches adjusted their strategies and teams were incentivized to seek new sources of talent. And the leagues got a lot more exposure and, not coincidentally, a lot more money.

    I’m totally on board for CSL expansion; I think 16 teams is kind of a ridiculous number for a nation of this size, even though I acknowledge that the number of soccer players is more on the level of a much smaller country.

    Is there any possibility of bringing in the Hong Kong league into the CSL? That’d be one very low cost (in terms of talent) way of adding some teams to the CSL and League One.

    I noticed that you mentioned the MLS. I propose that the podcast, as a rule, refer to that league as “The Scam League.” It’s a “single entity” outfit — one company owns all the teams — and is anti-player, anti-fan and envisions itself as profitably ensconced in the fifth tier of American sports *forever*. It’s a disgrace to the game.

  2. Cameron Wilson

    23/03/2017 at 09:14

    Very interesting comments. Especially about the MLS. Surely it deserves some credit for achieving what the NASL failed to do – establishing football as a spectator sport in the USA?

    I’ve always felt the CSL could learn a lot from the MLS. They made smart moves by tapping into the existing heritage of the NASL era by letting the three teams in the Pacific NW in. Portland have a fan culture that matches anyone anywhere and Seattle’s attendances speak for themselves. Vancouver are also doing pretty alright. Contrast that with China where we have two teams in Tianjin and, until recently at least, constant relocations which prevent fan culture taking root. Ironic that the USA is now able to teach others about the merits of not moving teams or treating them as “Franchises”

  3. jrbh

    25/03/2017 at 08:40

    I give the credit for soccer finally taking hold in the US to four things: (1) the massive expansion of money and media attention to the sport in the *real* major leagues, i.e., in Europe; (2) HDTV. Like ice hockey, soccer was horrible to watch on standard TV and has massively benefited from HD; (3) The collapse of interest from American parents in having their kids play American football; and (4) the relative affordability of soccer tickets compared to the insane prices for the four major American sports (partly excepting baseball).

    And no, I don’t give the MLS credit. I think they’ve retarded the growth of the sport, in fact, by failing to provide competitive ownership,failing to pay it’s players a world class wage, locking most of it’s teams into small stadiums (and by the way, continuing the American team owner tradition of ripping off cities and taxpayers for those stadiums).

    All of this is related to it’s insistence on single entity status, which essentially means that the league is fixed in a meta way, and that promotion and relegation, which allows for the organic growth of a league into areas where the sport is popular, is impossible.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Join in the discussion on #chinafootypod

Previous Podcasts

More in The Chinese Football Podcast