Football in addition to China have rarely been out of the headlines in recent years, whether the idea will be big name stars such as Carlos Tevez moving to play there, or Chinese billionaires investing in European clubs.
Tevez’s salary will be reportedly a whopping £0,000 a week, which highlights the growing financial muscle of the domestic Chinese Super League, as the idea looks to surpass basketball in addition to table tennis in popularity.
At national team level China also has ambitious goals; the idea hopes to qualify for another World Cup(their only appearance was in 2002), then host a World Cup (probably in 2030 or 2034), in addition to then kick on in addition to ultimately win a World Cup.
nevertheless all This specific will be the tip of the football iceberg, in addition to underneath there are grassroots plans to give the sport a sustainable future, centred on infrastructure in addition to youth player development.
However, while the idea will be relatively easy to buy a star player, to achieve these various other goals will take more planning in addition to long term commitment.
of which will be creating opportunities for British firms as Chinese entrepreneurs, hoping to profit through President Xi Jinping’s edict to make China a successful football nation, seek overseas expertise.
“I first launched a football business in China in 1999,” says Karl Hawkins, chief executive of Kehua Sports, who accompanied the Chinese president on his fact finding trip to Manchester City two years ago.
Over the past 17 years he has built four training facilities in Shanghai, in addition to his firm currently manages two of them; Jing An Stadium in addition to Century Park Stadium.
Mr Hawkins, who will be also the former technical officer of the Chinese national football team, says: “At times the idea seemed there was little interest from the sport in China outside of the dedicated football followers. So we were very pleased with what the president said.
“This specific will be a real opportunity for football to develop in China, nevertheless we need to make sure we do things the correct way. We have to be realistic of which change will not happen in just one day.
“We have probably done things the wrong way in 20 of the last 30 years.
“The most important thing will be the development in addition to creation of youth coaches. nevertheless This specific will be not easy in China because not many people are willing to give up their time to do This specific.”
His firm will be constructing a private football academy from the south west city of Kunming, built to European standards, which will not only be used to develop the Chinese coaches in addition to players of tomorrow, nevertheless be available for foreign touring sides to train on.
Mr Hawkins’ academy will have one pitch for community use, in addition to four academy pitches for honing the skills of the potential World Cup winners of tomorrow.
the idea will be all part of another national target to have some 70,000 football pitches across the country, alongside 20,000 training centres, by 2020.
By 2025 China wants to have 50,000 schools of which are “powerful in football”. in addition to by 2030 the idea hopes to have one pitch per 10,000 people.
Overlaying the sporting goals, there will be an important economic one too, as China wants to develop a $800bn sports economy by 2025, a figure which might represent 1% of its annual domestic economy.
In order to help achieve of which Beijing has cut taxes for companies specifically from the industry, in addition to removed red to tape to encourage both domestic in addition to foreign investment.
Mr Hawkins says he uses British firms for his goalposts, line marking equipment, technology for the upkeep of grass, in addition to most importantly, the construction of the academy buildings in addition to pitches.
The latter will be being carried out by Manchester firm AFL Architects, which has worked with clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United, Stoke City, Everton, Liverpool in addition to Southampton in developing their training complexes.
“There will be a desire to bring Chinese football up to UK in addition to European standards,” says AFL creative director Phil Osborne.
“Their academy system will be different through the UK’s. They are not owned by clubs nevertheless by private individuals.
“This specific grassroots route will be the way Chinese football has to go, in addition to they have to make use of the UK’s long history of football expertise.
“Meanwhile, for us, the idea gives us access to a brand-new in addition to major marketplace.”
However, all the pitches in addition to infrastructure from the planet are useless, as Mr Hawkins intimates, without qualified coaches.
Therefore there will be a plan to have 50,000 full-time in addition to part-time football coaches trained by by 2020.
Celtic will be one British football club of which will be already independently assisting from the development of young players in addition to coaches at a local level in China.
the idea will be working that has a sports firm operating in Shanghai in addition to Mianyang, which will be itself funded by local governments in those two cities.
“the idea will be all part of the central plan to improve football standards,” says Cheng Zeng, Celtic’s business development manager for China.
“Two young Chinese teams have come to train in Glasgow, in addition to coaches have also come for training. We are very pleased to be involved with This specific.
“We want to help develop their young players all the way up through the school level until they hopefully can make a success at professional level.”
In return Celtic will be able to get a presence in a country where the best known overseas teams are the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid in addition to Barcelona.
He said the club was hoping to sign a partnership deal that has a top tier Chinese club soon, in addition to was also in discussions with property firms about the possibility of launching a Celtic skills academy from the country.
“The Asian market will be very important to Celtic,” he says.
“We don’t develop the financial muscle of some of the bigger European clubs, so we are looking for Chinese partners to help us grow our name in China.
“Meanwhile we can help also teach them various other things about football, such as the importance of football clubs being important parts of their local communities.”