Chinese Tycoons Heading To Europe?

Chinese Tycoons Heading To Europe?
Jul 12, 2016


In a year which has amazingly seen Leicester crowned Champions of the Premier League and Portugal Champions of Europe (despite only winning once in 90 minutes) we have also noticed the emergence of Chinese football.

What’s Happening In The Chinese Super League And Chinese League One?

Football has soared in China over the past half year, with teams from the top two divisions signing some of Europe and South America’s greatest talents for big fees and enormous wages. Examples include Ezquiel Lavezzi and Gervinho who now play at Hebei China Fortune, Graziano Pelle and Papiss Cisse who both joined Shandong recently, Ramires who plays for Jiangsu Suning, Brazilian midfielder Paulinho who plays at Guangzhou Evergrande alongside former Porto hitman Jackson Martinez and finally Hulk, who recently joined Sven Goran-Eriksson at Shanghai SIPG. However, the vast amounts of money which the Chinese are spending seems to have interested some of China’s most affluent businessmen to invest in clubs in other continents, with the most attractive area being Europe.

Which Leagues Are Potential Owners Looking To Invest In?

The leagues which seem to be the most appealing to the wealthy Chinese are the Serie A, La Liga, Premier League and the Championship. Many could be targeting Championship clubs as they’re usually for lower prices than Premiership clubs, so therefore when they buy them they can put more money towards transfers immediately. Some potential owners could also be looking at Championship clubs as feeder clubs, with many Chinese investors currently looking at Man City’s ‘City Project’ where they have one parent club which they put the most interest in and feeder clubs which are from other countries and are usually able to loan the parent club’s best youth players to give them experience of first team football. Moreover, feeder clubs still do get investment from their owners, just not as much as the parent club would.

Inter Suning

One of the first European teams to be bought by Chinese Tycoons are Serie A giants Inter Milan after it was announced last month that the Suning Holdings Group had acquired a majority share of the club. The Nanjing-based organisation, who also own Jiangsu Suning in native China bought a gigantic 68.55% controlling share in the San Siro club. The Suning group are believed too be one of the largest privately owned retailers in China, and have shown the amount of money they possess with the capture of Ramires for around 25m euro’s when he joined Jiangsu from Chelsea in January, as well as former Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Alex Texeira, who was believed to of had interest in the Premier League whilst at the Ukrainian side.

Tony Xia

After an awful season Aston Villa fans thought it could only get worse by the time they start their new journey in the Championship. This was due to a lack of investment from Randy Lerner, who had put the club up for sale two years earlier.  They knew three parties were interested in the sale of their club, but that was just it. However, they would find out a few days after their last game of the season, with it being announced that private businessman and owner of Recon group Tony Xia had bought their club. Xia’s company Recon were believed to of made a staggering amount of money in 2015, yet Xia’s net worth is still unknown. What people do know about Xia is that he owns several other businesses around the world and has recently sold one of his companies called ‘Teamax’ for around 430m pounds.

Xia, from Quzhou in China has intrigued Aston Villa fans with what he has said over the past month since passing the Premier League and Football League’s ‘Fit and proper test’. Xia’s aim is for Aston Villa to get promoted back to the Premier League in the first reply, to get into Europe within 3 seasons, and win the Champions League and be as big as Real Madrid and Barcelona in 10 years! But as his newly appointed Aston Villa CEO Keith Wyness say’s:

Every club has heard a new chairman coming in & promising the world & delivering an atlas!

As mentioned earlier, many potential football club buyers are adopting the Man City’s ‘City Project’ and Xia’s admitted that he’s one of them. It’s believed that he wants to buy or invest in feeder clubs to Villa, and has looked in countries such as his native China as well as America, Australia and India. He hopes that a link with Villa will help improve their fanbase in other countries, as well as them being able to pick up the best young talents from their feeder clubs.

Tony Xia to Villa has opened the floodgates to other Chinese buyers looking at Championship clubs as well as Premier League clubs, and another Chinese owner could be coming to the Championship sooner rather than later, and owning a team which is only around 23 miles away from Xia’s Villa…

Robin Li

The owner of Baidu (Chinese Social Media Site) looks set to become the third most notable Chinese businessman to buy a football club in Europe this summer. It’s believed that the 19th richest man in the world who is worth a mammoth $12.3bn is looking at many clubs across Europe, with AC Milan and Wolves being the two most likely clubs he will buy. With it looking certain he will buy these two clubs you might think that AC Milan would be a parent club, with Wolves being it’s feeder club, but you must take in account if Wolves get promoted he will make more money from TV Rights and other income than probably AC Milan if they won the Serie A! With the deal looking imminent, it could be a very exciting time for Wolves fans, who have been through a windmill of emotions since the club were last in the Premier League.

In Conclusion

With Chinese ownership starting to kick-off now in Europe, do you think its a good thing for football, or not? People could see it as a good thing as with teams spending a lot of money on players it could mean that the leagues would be more open, making it harder to predict the winners come end of the season. However you could see this as a bad thing as you won’t see teams like Leicester’s this season, it will be harder to produce fairytales if you don’t have as much cash as most other teams. You may also believe that money is currently ruining football at this moment in time anyway.





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