Greed is behind the proliferation of big-name players heading to the cashed-up Chinese Super League and it will not help the country’s national team, China-based Australian star Tim Cahill said.
The Chinese record transfer fee has been smashed four times in the current transfer window, with Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira the third big signing in just over a week after Jiangsu Suning paid 50 million euros (US$56 million) for him to Shakhtar Donetsk.
The move came just three days after Guangzhou Evergrande snapped up Atletico Madrid’s Jackson Martinez for 42 million euros, and nine days after Jiangsu’s 28-million-euro purchase of Ramires from Chelsea.
Former Everton star Cahill, who now plays for Shanghai Shenhua, said the ambition within Chinese football knew no bounds.
“When I first went to China I knew the vision, I knew what was behind it and I knew what they wanted to do. To see where it’s come to now and where we’re at, it’s pretty crazy,” he told Australia’s Fox Sports Sunday.
“They’ve got the power and when they want something, they get it and when they don’t want something they get rid of it. It’s pretty much like a revolving door, you see a lot of players coming in and a lot of players going.
“It’s crazy to see but this is only going to get worse. This is going to be massive, soon they’ll break the Aus$100 million (US$70 million) mark easily,” he added.
While money is evidently no object for cashed-up Chinese clubs, Cahill suggested it had become too much of a priority for the stars poached from some of Europe’s best clubs.
“The choices that players are making are not about football like it was in my day, they’re purely about personal gains and it depends what you want as an individual,” he said.
“Is it going to help players? No. Is it going to be big for the country? Yes.
“You’re turning down Liverpool, you’re leaving Chelsea,” he added, referring to Teixeira and Ramires.
“Players have got different ideas and you have to be able to live in China as well. I live in Shanghai, it’s a big city. Some of the other areas it’s a bit tough and we’ll see how long they last.”
Cahill added that the ambition of the Chinese Super League was doing little to help China’s home grown talent.
“With this investment in the players, there’s a Catch 22. Does it help the Chinese? To a certain extent, no,” he said.
“The most difficult area for the Chinese national team is attacking, they can’t score goals. Everything else, they’re technically gifted, they’re great, I’ve spent a year with these kids.
“But when you sign players like this (Teixeira, Martinez, Ramires) everything is up to us. If we don’t deliver, it doesn’t happen.”
25+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
- Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
- Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
- Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
- Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
- Starting price: $4.99/mo.
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
- $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
- Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
- Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family