From my info @ fcshirtsunited.com inbox this morning (yes, really):
My name is [redacted], I’m working as (AGENT) with the Liaoning Whowin FC. We are urgently looking for a coach for our Club.
Salary $31,000 per month, contract agreement 12months. If you are interested forward your Resume for assessment and contact me directly for further negotiation.
All I need to do is learn Chinese and move to Shenyang in China’s Liaoning Province. Oh, and learn to be a football coach, I suppose. Or, I can keep working on this site; to be competitive, I just need people to start buying about 1,000 shirts per day.
Fascinating story from The Economist: Little red card – The telling reasons why, at least in football, China is unlikely to rule the world in the near future.
The pass back to the goalkeeper seemed routine for Qingdao Hailifeng FC in its match against Sichuan FC in September 2009, even if the ball was struck a little too hard and the keeper only just managed to stop it running past him and into the net. Qingdao was safely ahead 3-0 with two minutes left in a meaningless match in China’s second division. What could be amiss?
Then a Qingdao assistant coach gestured for the keeper to come forward from the penalty area. Another Qingdao player promptly chipped the ball over him and towards the net, missing an own goal by inches. The final whistle blew soon afterwards.
Qingdao’s owner Du Yunqi was irate—at his team’s utter incompetence. As he would later admit to investigators, he had just lost a bet that there would be a total of four goals scored in the game. His humiliated assistant coach said on national television, “Afterward the boss was angry and scolded me, saying I bungled things and couldn’t even fix a match.”
Qingdao Hailifeng FC no longer exists; it was dissolved after being banned from the league in the wake of such max-fixing scandals.
Amid struggles to reform from such scandals, and general lack of support for a team sport in an Olympic, individual-sport-driven society, there has been increased investment recently in marquee players. Big names like Nicolas Anelka are going to ply their trade in China, for example. Also:
The Evergrande Real Estate Group, which is controlled by billionaire and Communist Party member Xu Jiayin, and which acquired the disgraced Guangzhou Pharmaceutical club in 2010, is spending money like Real Madrid. Guangzhou Evergrande FC pays generous salaries and victory bonuses, reducing players’ incentives to fix matches, and is building a huge football school.
Yeah, I do like that one.
I’ve highlighted the passages that mention club teams, so that I can show their crests. But most of this intriguing article has to do with the China national team, and with the wider acceptance of soccer in the country in general. Really interesting stuff, especially for fans in the US, where we sometimes have a bit of a soccer inferiority complex. The whole article is worth a read.
CNN International has the story: Chelsea’s Anelka to join Chinese club.
Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua have pulled off an audacious transfer coup by signing former France international Nicolas Anelka from English team Chelsea.
…”This is not only good for Shenhua but also beneficial for Chinese football,” club spokesperson Ma Yue told CNN.
“The joining of Anelka to Football Association Super League will promote the League’s brand for sure.”
If you voted in this month’s FC Shirts United tournament, and paid any attention to the team bios, then Shanghai Shenhua might sound familiar. They are none other than a former Shanghai rival of Shaanxi Chanba, before that team moved from Shanghai to Xi’an.
Speaking of this month’s tournament, we’re more than halfway through the group stage now, so if you haven’t voted to narrow down to two finalists, do it now!
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