Chinese teams find Asian Champions League harder going

AFC Champions League logo

May 6 – China may be spending like crazy to lure a string of big-name overseas players to its domestic Super League and have put in place an eye-watering blueprint for grassroots development at national level but money doesn’t automatically buy you success.Big-spending Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Suning have now both been embarrassingly knocked out of the Asian Champions League, the Continent’s route to the World Club Cup,  at the group stages.

Guangzhou, the defending champions, recently signed £31 million Jackson Martinez while  Jiangsu splashed out £38.4 million on Alex Teixeira and £25 million on Ramires.

Their exits left  two Chinese clubs in the tournament with Shanghai SIPG and Shandong Luneng reaching the last 16.

Guangzhou – also Asian champions in 2013 – and Jiangsu are the top two teams in the Chinese Super League seven games into the domestic season. But the former recently revealed a staggering loss of RMB953 million ($147 million) in their year ended 2015 accounts.

The loss was attributed to “the increased expense of introducing coaches, paying players and preparing for matches” which cost the club a total of RMB1.3 billion ($200 million) in 2015.

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