Capello joins the China brain drain. Focus will be on local players

Fabio Capello

June 12 – Fabio Capello is back in team management having signed a deal to take charge of Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. Capello extends the Italian connection with Suning Sports, owners of  Jiangsu and majority owners of Italy’s Internazionale.

While the Chinese generally have stepped back from acquiring phenomenally expensive European and South American superstars for their top club sides, they haven’t shied away from hiring top management expertise from outside the country.

Capello joins big name managers Luis Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas, Gus Poyet and Felix Magath in China. Capello’s fellow Italian Marcello Lippi manages China’s national team.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) in January moved to curb player wages and the management of the operation of clubs. In a statement on its website the CFA said that dues to “irrational investment” it will clampdown on high pay, transfer fees and player compensation and “will introduce a series of measures and initiatives to regulate the operation and management of the club”.

For 2017 new player registration rules are coming into force that only allow clubs to play three foreign players in their matchday squads plus a requirement for at least two Chinese players aged under 23 in their matchday squads in 2017, with at least one in the starting line-up.

For big name foreign managers their skills will have to be more focussed on training and preparing competitive teams than buying them in.

Capello’s last management job was in Russia where he managed the national team before being sacked for poor results. This was entwined with a bitter row over the non-payment of his salary.

Before that he was England manager before resigning over the stripping of the captaincy from John Terry by the FA. England qualified for tournaments under Capello but never lived up to their billing at finals.

His career in club football was more successful. In the 1990s with AC Milan he won four Serie A titles and the Champions League. He won two La Liga titles in separate spells with Real Madrid and another Italian league crown with Roma. The two Italian Serie A titles he won with Juventus were revoked because of the club’s involvement in the Italian match-fixing scandal.

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