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Chinese Super League distributes revenue, chases debts

Talisca of Guangzhou Evergrande shoots during a 2018 Chinese Super League match. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The Chinese Super League is due to pay RMB15m ($2.1m/€1.9m) to each of its clubs as part of the revenue distribution for the 2019 season, with a further amount to be paid when the league collects fees owed by commercial partners.

Each of the 16 teams in the football league is due RMB65m ($9.2m/€8.4m) overall from 2019. RMB30 has already been paid.

According to local media reports, at board meetings earlier this month it was revealed that the league was still owed RMB320m from last season by sponsors and other partners. The remaining RMB20m due to clubs will be paid after this outstanding amount is collected.

CSL champions Guangzhou Evergrande was among several clubs to have deductions from their league payment due to violations of league regulations. Guangzhou Evergrande had RMB500,000 deducted for breaching advertising regulations during a match at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, CSL clubs have agreed in principle with the Chinese Football Association a salary cut for players as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Local media report that the CFA has proposed a cut of 30 per cent for players earning RMB3m ($420,000) per year or more, a 20-per-cent cut for those earning RMB1m to RMB2.99m, and a 10-per-cent for those earning RMB590,000 to RMB990,000. There would be no cut for players earning less than RMB590,000.

“Due to the pandemic, professional football clubs and investors generally runs into operational difficulties,” the CFA has said, according to news service CGTN. “Their calls for a moderate alleviation of financial burdens and reasonable reductions in salary are strong.”

The 2020 season of the CSL, which was due to kick off on February 22, remains suspended due to Covid-19. Some teams have resumed training, but hopes of an early return to action for the league or any other Chinese professional sports competition were squashed last week when the State Council, the government’s top executive body, recommended that local governments continue to prohibit events which gather large crowds. The State Council has recommended carefully relaxing restrictions on less risky activities.

Update: This story was updated on 16 April 2020 to include details of the proposed player salary cuts.