Chinese Football Market Update | May 18

Chinese Football Update: By May 18

Ⅰ.CFA and China Leagues

1.Opening time of the League (estimated)

Note: According to reports, the Chinese Football Association submitted the League starting plan to the General Administration of Sports. However, the application has been rejected. The major problem is not about the opening date, but the need to adjust the relevant epidemic prevention plan. Therefore, it is still unclear with the final plan, the competition system and starting date of the league.

2.Competition system/scheme 

1) CSL

The possible way of gourp dividing would be following as in a “snake-shape” which is commonly considered more fair to all teams in both groups. 

Then, 4 stages as follows would be applied in order to finish the league in limited time. 

However, on this point, there are still many possibilities for change, such as whether to play in neutral venue as in tournament style.

2) C1L

Key points:

a) Home and away, double round-robin system, 306 games in 27 weeks in 34 rounds, in which there are 8 weeks with two games in a week;

b) The Reserve League of C1L would be cancelled, every C1L club must participate in U23 League;

c) Cancel VAR and set bottom line assistant;

3) C2L

National U19 and CSL U23 teams will play in C2L this season. However, It is reported that at the general manager meeting of the Chinese Football Association recently, many club general managers clearly opposed the plan, believing that it was destroying the value of the league.

Basically the teams will count the points but not be involved in promotion or relegation.

On May 9, a file from CFA on the plan about CSL U23 participating in C2L in season 2020 was leaked which should be kept confidential.

The core information is as follows:

It is understood that at present, there are two sets of reform plans from the Chinese Football Association for C2L 2020 season: One of which is a plan to divide C2L into three groups, in this case, the number of teams in the C2L is expected to be 36, and one group will be added on the basis of the existing South and North groups, to be: South, middle and North, with 12 teams in each competition group. 

In the case of three competition groups, it is estimated that the number of Chinese Super League U23 teams participating in C2L is 8, plus U19 national youth team, a total of 9 new teams will account for 25% of the total number of C2L teams. If there are still two groups, it is expected that the maximum number of teams participating in C2L will not exceed 32, among which, 7 CSL U23 teams, plus U19 national youth teams, the same proportion as of 25%.

From the leaked file, we can see the basic ideas are:

1) Cancel CSL reserve league.

2) Set up a CSL U23 league.

3) CSL U23 teams apply to participate either in CSL U23 league or C2L based on different requiremts.

4) Points will counted for U23 teams which play in C2L, but they won’t be involved in promotion to C1L, only with path to be relegated to CFA U23 League.

5) Teams in U23 League and CMCL have access to be promoted to C2L.

6) Non-U23 teams in C2L have access to be relegated to CMCL while CSL U23 teams in C2L relegated to CFA U23 League.

3.t’s impossible to wait for all foreign players and foreign coaches to come back to China before the game starts;

However, it’s reported that CFA has submitted the application and list of foreign employees to relevant departments twice so as to help obtain special entry policies and arrange foreign employees to come to China as soon as possible.

According to the current situation of epidemic control in China, the entry policy is more likely to be gradually and orderly liberalized in steps, so the foreign employees of Chinese companies would be the priority. In this way, the application of China Football Association may be approved.

FootballPros shared in previous posts about who haven’t entered China since the ban from Central government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foreign players and coaches that have/not returned to China by Mar 28

II.Team participation-confirmed

For China Super League 2020

For China League One 2020

More to read:

Chinese Football Market Update | May 11

Chinese Football Market Update | May 3

Chinese Football Market Update | Apr 25

Chinese Football Market Update | Apr 16