Another Tianjin soccer team on the brink

Society & Culture

Professional soccer in disarray in one of China's biggest cities.

Tianjin Teda (in purple) in a Chinese Super League game against Shenzhen Jiazhaoye last October.

Yet more financial misery for another soccer club in Tianjin. Last year saw Tianjin Tianhai disband after huge financial losses and the failure to pay players and staff. Now, crosstown rival Tianjin Tigers F.C., formerly known as Tianjin Teda, is facing the same uncertainty.

According to Xinhua, Tianjin has applied to the Chinese Super League (CSL) to delay the submission of its salary confirmation form, which has yet to be signed by all its players. The salary confirmation form is a document that lists the wages and bonuses of the players and staff, in accordance with the league’s rules.

The submission deadline was January 29.

According to Xinhua, Tianjin owes around 600 million RMB ($93 million) in unpaid salaries and transfer fees. Much of this debt was accumulated during the last year, as CSL teams have continued to play games without allowing fans back into stadiums. 

The club’s monetary crisis has already seen the club’s brand new foreign signing, Sandro Lima, move to the Turkish league without kicking a ball in China, while last season’s stars Frank Acheampong and Tiquinho Soares have handed in transfer requests.  

Full back Rong Hao spoke out on social media: “Tianjin needs this team, and the fans also need this team. I hope that society can help the team tide over the difficulties.”

After the collapse of Tianhai last season — and now faced with the same fate for Teda — there is a real danger that one of China’s biggest cities will be without a professional soccer club in the near future.


IOC president praises China’s winter sports drive

The “spectacular” Beijing winter Olympics next year will transform winter sports “forever” by introducing some 300 million Chinese people to them, according to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. 

The president made these remarks in an address to China, stating that the Chinese capital was ready to stage the games.

“Our Chinese partners and friends will deliver spectacular Olympic Winter Games that will change the landscape of winter sport forever,” Bach said in the address marking one year before the Beijing 2022 Games.

Speaking about the Chinese government’s promise to have 300 million people in the country engaged with winter sports by the start of the Olympics, Bach acknowledged that this could tip the balance away from the European and North American countries that traditionally dominate winter sports.

“Every time I have visited China I am impressed by the enthusiasm and support for the Olympic Games,” the former Olympic fencer said after signing the Beijing 2022 invitations for the 209 National Olympic Committees. 

“You can already feel this passion for winter sport with the excellent preparations for the Games. We can say already now with great confidence China is ready to welcome the world’s best athletes for unforgettable Olympic Games Beijing 2022.”


Other stories

Beijing 2022 just a year away, COVID already on the agenda (Wall Street Journal)

China promotes sports education to promote manliness  (BBC)

Can China dominate indoor climbing? (SCMP)

LA Lakers Jared Dudley blames Morey for death threats while on China tour (Yahoo Sports)

Multinationals keen to tap into China’s esports market (Shine)

The China Sports Column runs every week on SupChina.