Debt-Ridden China Evergrande to Stay in Soccer Business, Chairman Says
Zhang Yushuo
DATE:  Feb 21 2022
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Debt-Ridden China Evergrande to Stay in Soccer Business, Chairman Says Debt-Ridden China Evergrande to Stay in Soccer Business, Chairman Says

(Yicai Global) Feb. 21 -- The chairman of China Evergrande Group has reportedly said the debt-laden property developer will continue in the soccer business.

Evergrande will develop its soccer club Guangzhou Evergrande into a cradle of Chinese soccer stars, The Paper reported, citing Xu Jiayin. The Shenzhen-based company will create a one-stop talent training program from soccer academies to clubs to cultivate young talent and help academies and clubs develop, he added.

Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings was likely to take back control of Guangzhou Evergrande, 11 years after the drugs wholesaler sold its stake to Evergrande, an insider told Yicai Global last month. The state-owned drugmaker was willing to take over the club but it was still in talks with local sports authorities, the person added.

Evergrande bought control of the then-named Guangzhou FC for CNY100 million (USD15.7 million) in 2010. Four years later, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding invested CNY1.2 billion (USD190 million) to acquire half of the club, which changed its name to Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club.

Evergrande spent big, bringing in players and helping the club move up to the first division, the CFA Chinese Super League. Since then, it has won eight titles and two Asian Football Federation Champions Leagues in a row. The club lost over CNY1.9 billion in 2019 and nearly CNY1.1 billion in the first half of 2020 mainly due to high players’ salaries and transfer fees.

Guangzhou Evergrande ended contracts with five Chinese naturalized players including Elkeson de Oliveira Cardoso and Aloísio dos Santos Gonçalves last week due to their salaries of about EUR10 million (USD11.4 million) a year. The annual pre-tax salary of the club’s highest-paid players has dropped from over CNY10 million (USD1.6 million) to between CNY60,000 and CNY600,000 (USD9,500 and USD95,000).

Land that Evergrande paid CNY6.8 billion for the right use in April 2020 has been reclaimed by the local government for auction, People’s Daily Sports reported last November, adding that the firm intended to build a new soccer stadium on the site.

Once the world’s biggest property developer, Evergrande fell into a liquidity crisis last year and declared a bond default for the first time on Dec. 3.

Editor: Futura Costaglione

Follow Yicai Global on
Keywords:   Evergrande,Salary,Soccer