Recently, several news items have attracted the attention of fans: one is that Beijingers have been exposed to long-term wage arrears; the other is that Shaanxi Changan Athletic stated that the club has encountered some financial difficulties; the other is that Xinjiang Tianshan Snow Leopards announced a salary reduction plan.
Although the above problems are more or less related to the epidemic, we have clearly noticed that most of the problems occur in small and medium clubs. Clubs like Evergrande, Guoan and SIPG will not be exposed to such news.
We look at European football, and century-old clubs abound. Not every one of them is a giant, most of them are actually small and medium clubs. But why can small and medium clubs in European football survive for a hundred years, but it is so difficult for small and medium clubs in China to survive?
The Chinese football market is showing an overheating phenomenon, and this kind of heat only exists at the upper level, not at the foundation. What is even more frightening is that if the lower-level clubs accidentally come to the upper-level of Chinese football, he will have to join this overheated market.
The tragedy of Baoding Rongda is the result of small clubs being unable to undertake greater investment after embarking on a higher platform. When they scored into the Chinese League with a miraculous victory, the club increased its investment and gave players a substantial salary increase. In order to relegation, they introduced many domestic and foreign aids. As a result, they were relegated to the Chinese League one year later. The club's financial situation also changed. One fell sharply, resulting in arrears of wages and no access. This is the consequence of killing chickens to get eggs.
After a team is promoted, it is natural that players need to raise their salaries; however, in terms of the increase in salaries of specific players, domestic clubs should be more detailed when signing contracts.
For example, if a team is qualified for promotion after the end of the season, is it upgraded through performance? Or is it upgraded through incremental replacement? In these two upgrade methods, the salary increase should not be the same. In addition, how many specific contributions the players have in the process of team upgrading, such as how many minutes they played, how many times they played, and how many key performances they have, should also be stepped up reasonable salary increases according to different situations.
In addition, the contract should also stipulate that after the downgrade, the salary of everyone in the team should also be reduced proportionally. On the one hand, this motivates the players to fight for relegation, on the other hand, it also leaves a way for the club: even if you are relegated, you don’t have to continue to bear the level of investment of the previous season. Relegation means that the previous low investment is restored. .
Do as much as you have the ability. Shaanxi team player Wang Erzhuo was once asked by fans about the Super League in a live broadcast. Wang Erzhuo said: "Superior racing is not something a club like ours has to consider now." Such a statement does not mean that the players and the club have no pursuit. This is a wise strategy to find the correct positioning. At each stage, you should do your best to do corresponding things. After all, Shaanxi was still an amateur club in 2016, and it has become a Chinese club in 2019. The upgrade speed is fast enough. Before you learn to run, you must learn to walk. Acknowledging and accepting the fact that you are a small club is critical to the survival of the club.
After Baoding Rongda rushed to the Middle Division, why did he make a desperate move in pursuit of relegation? We know that Rongda itself is not a large enterprise in Hebei Province. The reason why it is so willing to invest is that many analysts believe that it is to stay in China A and exchange more benefits and support with the local government. Once the relegation fails, it is equivalent to losing his wife and breaking down. This is a gamble with the fate of the club.
Having said that, we can set our sights on the League of Nations-England's third-tier league. In this season's Premier League, Portsmouth has won the FA Cup. Sunderland, Blackpool and Bolton have all played in the Premier League in recent years.
They once played against Manchester United and Chelsea in the top league. They have now dropped two levels and are reduced to League One. This is actually a normal thing. Some of them have financial problems, and some have management problems. But in the eyes of many Chinese fans, relegation is regarded as a big deal.
There is a saying: "It used to be difficult for the sea to be water". Fans who are accustomed to watching the Super League may not accept their home team playing in the low-level leagues. After the home team is relegated, it won't work if it doesn't go back. If it doesn't go back, it must be because the management is incompetent, the players are afraid of unemployment, and the future is hopeless. But what they didn't expect was: upgrading is a matter of course. When there is that strength and financial resources, the club will naturally rise. If the strength, financial resources and management are not in place, even if you get lucky, there will be many problems that will affect the survival of the club. Why have teams disbanded frequently in low-level leagues in recent years? Too much repetition is a very important factor. Ben doesn't have the ability to upgrade. If he is forced to upgrade to one level, problems will definitely arise.
In fact, for a club, ups and downs mean the club’s investment is large or small. When the financial ability is strong, it will play high-level matches; when the financial ability is weak, it will be relegated to the low-level league. This is the law of football, and it is not a big deal. Fans should fundamentally change their mindset. Not every club can compete in the Super League and AFC Champions League every year like Evergrande, SIPG and Guoan.
Every fan hopes that his home team can become a giant. However, the reality of Chinese football determines that the most important thing is to survive and continue. Since the professionalization of Chinese football, how many people have chanted the slogan of the "Hundred Years Club", but in fact, few have been able to persist for more than 15 years. The prerequisite for a hundred years is to survive. Whether to downgrade or not is actually not a big deal. As long as you can live, even if you are relegated, don't you still look at the ball?
When the Shaanxi team sold the top scorer Oscar to Shijiazhuang Yongchang, some fans expressed dissatisfaction, saying that this would affect the team's performance. But if the fans who really support the Shaanxi club should applaud for this, Oscars are selling well. This is the normal operation of small and medium clubs for survival. In the face of survival, performance is second.
The Xinjiang Tianshan Snow Leopard Club has determined the positioning of the small club: they have the Xinjiang Soong Ching Ling Football School as the backing of talent transportation, and they can continuously replenish fresh blood after the annual sales of players. When buying foreign aid, only choose cheap foreign aid. But even so, they still became the first Chinese professional club to implement a salary reduction plan during the epidemic. Zhu Yi, the China administrator of the German transfer market website, praised Xinjiang as the "most normal club" in Chinese football. This evaluation is fair and what Xinjiang does is actually in line with the laws of football.
When the Shaanxi Chang'an Athletic Club stated that it was experiencing financial difficulties, many fans were amazed: In a world-famous gold medal city like Shaanxi, the club will also encounter survival problems?
This is exactly a distortion of Chinese football: the number of fans cannot determine the income and survival of the club. Due to the restrictions of relevant laws and regulations and stakeholder factors, China cannot establish a membership club like the one in Europe, and fans cannot become a real part of the club’s management. The enthusiasm of the fans may help the club to a certain extent in brand building and investment promotion, but it cannot change the fundamental face of the club.
What can only change the fundamental outlook of Chinese football clubs? Unfortunately, it can only be changed by the investor's own economic strength. Whether the Guangzhou team is invested by Guangzhou Pharmaceutical or Evergrande is completely different. Whether the Dalian team is invested by Albin, Yifang or Wanda is completely different.
When it comes to the Shaanxi issue, the problem is also very clear: Shaanxi team investor Xu Hongtao has no real economy to support, and every year he maintains the team's survival in the form of sponsorship. There are no powerful large companies in Shaanxi that can give generously. After all, Xi'an is not north, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. It has so much capital.
When it comes to investing in football, we should also understand one thing: the primary purpose of investing in most large companies in professional football is by no means out of love for the sport, but out of advertising effects and exchange of interests. This can also explain why Chinese football lacks culture and heritage.
Xu Hongtao also said in an interview that he hopes to continue to explore the business model and open a physical store of the Shaanxi Chang'an Athletic Club in Xi'an. Whether or not this idea can finally succeed, it is also a good attempt. Small and medium clubs should also, like big clubs, do economically for fans and allow fans to play a more important role in the survival of the club. This is also a crucial step for the cultivation of football culture.
Chinese football should establish a healthy pyramid model. Only when grassroots football and small clubs survive well can the spire be stronger. But at present, small clubs are encountering many difficulties that cannot be solved by themselves, which requires some protection of them in policy.
First of all, one of the simplest protective measures is not to put too much pressure on small clubs on the issue of youth training access. Big clubs with strong financial resources should undertake most of the work of youth training. Small clubs are limited by their own financial resources, and it is impossible to establish a complete echelon system. If they are forced to do so, the ultimate result will be a refill, which will not help the future of Chinese football. It will also waste the small club’s few economic resources. , This is a typical formalism. The really reasonable approach is to encourage small clubs to improve their reserve forces step by step within the scope of their ability.
In addition, the reason why small clubs are reluctant to follow the path of cultivation is that they cannot obtain economic benefits. The lack of scouting system in Chinese football makes it difficult for players trained by small clubs to get the attention of big clubs. In addition, the implementation of youth training compensation and joint mechanism compensation is not doing well in Chinese football. Players who have worked so hard to train are likely to turn around and go to big clubs, and the club that trains them can only beg for money. Money, in the end only got a few copper plates to satisfy hunger.
Only when grassroots football and small clubs make money can Chinese football have a future. With money, small clubs can have more motivation and ability to improve their youth training system, so that they can feed back big clubs with more talents, and big clubs can feed back small clubs with funds. This will be a virtuous circle.
In summary, the protection measures for small clubs can be summarized as follows: First, reduce some too strict access standards to prevent formalism; second, implement youth training compensation and joint mechanism compensation to ensure that small clubs The club can make money by selling people, it is best to sell one person, which can solve the expenses for half a year.
In addition, if there are small and medium-sized clubs, like Baoding Rongda, who have been upgraded "accidentally", it should allow these clubs to obtain financial benefits in higher-level leagues, such as higher and more timely sharing. In this way, after they are upgraded, they do not need to increase investment for the illusory exchange of interests and policy support with the local government, which will add to the economic pressure. The upgrade of the Premier League club to the Premier League is a great boost to the club's financial income; while the upgrade of the Chinese second club to the second one, it only overspends the original shabby budget. Of course, the issue of sharing may only be fully resolved after the establishment of a professional league.