Oscar and Hulk’s slow start hits Shanghai SIPG’s financial performance

September 14 – Understanding the financial scale of China’s professional clubs who hit the news with big money transfer deals before a government and Chinese FA crackdown, can be difficult. Latest results from Shanghai SIPG Group, owners of a Chinese Super League club, open a window to the market.

In their 2018 mid-year report Shanghai SIPG Group show their football team had first half revenues of more than CN¥900 million ($131 million) but losses of CN¥360 million ($56 million).

While the club have currently risen to second after 20 matches of the Chinses Super League after a string of wins, earlier season form that saw them knocked out of the AFC Champions League and the CFA Cup.

The mid-year results compare to 2017 full year revenue figures of CN¥2.076 billion ($300 million) and profit of CN¥49.99 million ($7.2 million), again reported through Shanghai SIPG Group financials. This in turn compares to 2015 revenue of CN¥565.7 million ($82.5 million) and a loss of CN¥41.5 million ($6 million).

The scale of revenue increase from 2015 to 2017 is impressive and shows a league that is rapidly growing its national commercial proposition.

Originally formed as Shanghai Dongya FC in 2005 and built around former Chinese coach Xu Genbao’s academy players, the club worked its way through the Chinese league structure to debut in the CSL in 2013. In 2015 the club was bought by the Shanghai International Port Group who had already become the club’s naming sponsor, and who provided the cash flow for some high profile player acquisition and installed Sven-Goran Ericksson as head coach.

Player signings in 2016 saw former AFC Champions League and CSL golden boot owner Elkeson join from Guangzhou Evergrande for €18.5 million. He was joined by fellow Brazilians Hulk, signed from Zenit St Petersburg for €58.6 million, and Oscar, signed from Chelsea for £60 million.

Hulk is the current first team captain under Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira.

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