Any guesses, which is the world’s worst performing soccer league!
In which league clubs are bleeding monies like no one else.
If a recent audit by global accounting firm PwC is to be believed, the tag must go to the Chinese Super League. According to the survey and as reported by Goal, the CSL’s clubs are currently in a combined debt of over USD 600 million (INR 3,900 Crore). The report is likely to raise more questions about the sustainability of a league that has made headlines with its massive spending in recent past. Players like Oscar, Hulk, Carlos Tevez, Alex Teixeira and Ramires have moved to the CSL in recent seasons for massive transfer fees.
In the 2016 winter transfer window, the CSL spent $296 million. This past window, that number increased to over $400 million, causing China’s ruling party to issue a warning against excessive spending. With nearly 80% of the clubs’ spending in 2016 going towards foreign coaches and players, a cap was put in place to “strengthen examination and supervision of clubs’ financial affairs, progressively control clubs’ expenditures on first-team players and ensure favorable financial conditions.”
No doubt the marquee players bring a lot of star power to the league, but the long-term viability of the CSL has been brought into question by the huge spending of many of the clubs owners and now they have started feeling the pinch.
According to the report, CSL clubs’ collective revenues for the last season reached $1,063 million. But the expenses crossed $1,653 million, resulting in a loss of $ 600 million.
Break up of the revenues is another cause for CSL to worry about.
Commercial sponsorships, the main source of revenue for CSL clubs last season, accounted for 64% of the total amount. That was followed by TV and broadcasting (14%), player transfers (11%), government subsidies (6%), gate and matchday (3%) and others (2%).
In comparison, any club as part of successful global football league generates its primary revenues from gate, match-day sales, merchandise and media rights revenues. The dependency on sponsorship revenues is far less in comparison.
These numbers clearly show that all is not well with CSL and it casts an uncertain future for the league in world’s most populous nation.