So, the Chinese Super League has struck again.
Just a week or so after Shanghai SIPG secured the signing of Brazilian midfielder Oscar from Chelsea for a reported fee of £60 million, rival Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua have made Carlos Tevez the world’s highest paid player, offering him a staggering £615,000 a week on a two year contract which will see him earn nearly £64 million in total.
The 32 year old Argentine striker, who had spells at West Ham, Manchester United and of course Manchester City during his time in the Premier League will now earn more than United stars Wayne Rooney and Paul Pogba (who are amongst the Prem’s highest earners) combined. His wage breaks down to a crazy; £87,857 a day, £3,660 an hour, £61 a minute, and £1 a second. It also means that Tevez will earn 261,702 times what the average residents of Shanghai take home.
The Chinese League is sending shockwaves throughout the world at the moment with its ridiculous financial power, but is the ludicrous amounts of cash on offer to players ruining football?
The league itself is of a relatively poor standard, with most players being Chinese internationals. However since the recent surge of its financial power, players from all over the world are being bought in and that fact in itself is seeing the quality of the league improve greatly. Tevez will join fellow ex Premier League strikers Demba Ba and Obafemi Martins at Shenhua.
A whole hosts of other familiar faces currently ply their trade in China too such as:
Paulinho and Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Gervinho and Stephane Mbia (Hebei Fortune)
Alex Teixiera and Ramires (Jiangsu Suning)
Graziano Pelle and Papiss Cisse (Shangdong Luneng)
Hulk and the aforementioned Oscar (SIPG)
2017 will no doubt see other big names being rumoured with moves to the league with the likes of Lukas Podolski, Wayne Rooney and even current Premier League top scorer Diego Costa already being linked.
So can they go on to compete with the major leagues of the world? Eventually someday perhaps, but for now not really. Most people resent big money being a part of football because “it ruins the game”, but the fact is that money talks in this day and age. Tevez stated in an interview back in 2010 that he was “tired of football” because it had become money motivated, but six years later he’s now the highest paid player in the world. Of course he’s come under criticism from many for this, but be honest you wouldn’t turn down being paid a pound a second now would you?
The simple fact is that players who are getting on a bit are bound to be tempted to play for triple the money in a league where (no offence) most of the players play to a poor standard. It is a similar situation to the one posed by American League MLS when they started bringing in big name players.
As money becomes more and more important within the game, then it is very likely that China will become more and more important too. It may take time, but you never know, in 3-4 year the Chinese Super League may just become one of the biggest in the world.