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China football revolution can be a financial game changer

China football revolution can be a financial game changer
china-football-revolution-can-be-a-financial-game-changer
When Chinese investors recently decided to http://www.officialcoltsnflstore.com/t-y--hilton-jersey_c-381.html acquire a 13% stake in Manchester City's parent firm, it put the country's renewed interest in football firmly in the spotlight. The world's second largest economy has never been a football powerhouse, qualifying for just one World Cup. Meanwhile, the population seems more interested in NBA basketball than the sport known in the UK as "the people's game". But over the past couple of years Chinese investors and firms have quietly been acquiring stakes in football clubs in England, Spain, France, Netherlands and the Czech Republic, while President Xi Jinping has professed a love of the game. So why are the Chinese now snapping up stakes in European clubs? Reasons include a national desire to look good on the world stage, developing China's club football and national team, creating Chinese football fan bases, and firms using clubs to build their commercial presence in Europe. 'Acquiring competence' "China likes to be omnipotent and successful Joe Looney Womens Jersey in everything it does," Simon Chadwick, chair in sport business at Coventry University Business School, tells me. "One thing they currently don't do particularly well at is football, the global game. China wants to ascend to a position where it is respected globally as part of the international football community." He says President Xi has come out as a big football fan, and that by 2025 China wants to have a domestic sports industry worth $850bn (£564bn). Optimistic estimates put the current entire global sports economy at $400bn. Slavia Prague, one of the most historic names in Czech football, was heavily in debt, and near financial collapse before the start of this season. In September, China Energy Company Limited (CEFC) bought roughly 60% of the club for an undisclosed sum, with Czech businessman Jiri Simane buying around 40%. The CEFC football purchase was part of a bigger investment move by the firm into the Czech Republic. In 2014 it had decided to establish a major European base in Prague, buying two historic properties in the city, and also a number of businesses. Following Slavia's previous woes, CEFC has managed to keep top players like Czech national forward Milan Skoda at the club, and there are plans to buy other top domestic players, much to the approval of fans. Slavia just avoided relegation last season. Now it http://www.buccaneersnflofficialauthentic.com/oniel-cousins-jersey_c-275.html sits fifth in the table and there is talk of qualifying for next season's Europa League. "This would be market-making on an unprecedented scale in sport," says Prof Chadwick. "China would then be able to bid for the football World Cup, and the ultimate aim would then be to win it. "But they need to learn more about football - that is crucial. With these club purchases, they have been going about acquiring competence."

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