China Set A Football Growth Model Good for Nigeria

We have found out a living example of how important it is to keep bringing quality players and coaches into Nigeria to grow football locally.

[Here] Let’s look at the Chinese Example…

China, not MLS, is luring stars away from Europe - the Guardian reports

 …and as I hear, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of PSG and John Terry, former Captain of Chelsea will be heading to China this summer.

Shanghai SIPG is plotting to bring over Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney; while Shanghai Shenhua has Demba Ba, Fredy Guarin and Tim Cahill.

Jackson Martinez completed Guangzhou Evergrande move from Atletico Madrid and Ramires already signed for Beijin Guoan from Chelsea. The list is endless: Gervhino, Asamoah Gyan, Ricado Goulart, Renato Augusto…

Apart from bringing over stars from Europe and South America, China is also able to keep their homegrown players. For example, a second division team paid $11m for a young Chinese player. Such juicy pay out is more attractive for them than to travel to Europe for fame…

Chinese Super League is come alive with such rivalry between Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG, which both boast of their world class coaches – world cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari with Guangzhou and former England national team coach Goran Eriksson on the side of SIPG.

Beijin Guoan also has a Serie A winning coach Alberto Zaccheroni and Dragan Stojkovic, the man tipped to be Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal successor is with Guangzhou R&F.

China is increasely able to pay BIG MONEY (Often too big at the moment), but that’s what is attracting the big names and keeping the homegrown players in China

It is already having effect in china…

Guangzhou Evergrande has become the prime mover in China, winning 5 Chinese titles, 2 Asian Champions leagues and the Cantonese giant is serious about winning the FIFA Club World Cuo in the coming year.

Attendance grew from average of 20, 000 in 2014 to over –average of 25, 000 in 2016.

By 2018, the Chinese Super League (CSL) will be the third most-watched football league, in terms of average attendance, in the world behind only Bundesliga and English Premier League.

In 2015, Chinese broadcasters paid just $9m to show local games, but in 2016, it will be $200m as part of a $1.25bn package over the next five seasons.

… Comparing this with the Nigerian scenario going the opposite direction, will immediately show you what NFF and LMC should be doing now.

Chinese Football Association got the government to buy into their growth plan. The spending has been encouraged by the government headed by big football fan xi Jinping and other wealthy businessmen such as Alibaba, Zenchin, Lifan…

China made their football system less complex with clear simple rules and regulations. It is more of a naked capitalism. There’s lots of money and lots of people happy to see that cash buying players from oversea.

QUESTION: Can NFF and LMC sit-down to re-design our football model and get the people like the Africa’s richestman, Alico Dangote, Globacom owner Mike Enaharo, Coscharis owner Cosmos Maduka… to buy into the vision of commercializing football in Nigeria and invest their money in it.

GreenHunters Sports International, a football Marketing and management consultant in Lagos, can be an invaluable resource firm for the project. Contact us: Call, +234 809 877 2556; or email,

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