At the end of 2022, the total debt of the CFA had reached 1.2 billion yuan (US$160 million), an increase of 700 million yuan compared to 2018.
Photo from CFP
By YANG Yuman
At the latest Chinese Football Association (CFA) Membership Conference, SONG Kai, the newly elected president of the CFA, presented financial reports for 2021 and 2022.
At the end of 2022, the total debt of the CFA had reached 1.2 billion yuan (US$160 million), an increase of 700 million yuan compared to 2018. In 2021, 48 percent of the expenditures were allocated to national teams at all levels, but in 2022, this figure decreased to 41 percent.
With a substantial focus on professional players, investment in youth academies remained relatively modest, decreasing from 106 million yuan in 2021 to 46 million yuan in 2022. Given that nearly all leaders within the association have claimed to prioritize youth training, questions must arise about their commitment.
The revenue situation is equally concerning. The total revenue in 2022 amounted to 580 million yuan, nearly 300 million yuan lower than four years ago. The poor performance of the national team and the lackluster Chinese Super League have caused sponsors to lose confidence.
Another challenge facing the association is the transfer adjustment fee introduced in 2017. This fee was designed to control the overheated transfer market and promote fair competition. According to the rules, clubs must contribute to the association if they spend over 45 million yuan on acquiring a foreign player or 20 million yuan on a domestic player. Currently, some clubs, such as Beijing Guoan, are requesting refunds, as they too have experienced a decline in revenue.