Chinese Super League

Last updated
Chinese Super League (CSL)
Chinese Super League Logo 2.png
Founded2004;17 years ago (2004)
CountryChina
Confederation AFC
Number of teams 16
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to China League One
Domestic cup(s) Chinese FA Cup
Chinese FA Super Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Jiangsu Suning
(2020)
Most championships Guangzhou
(8 titles)
Most appearances Yang Zhi (350)
Top goalscorer Elkeson (107 goals)
TV partners CCTV
Several regional channels
PPTV
Website CSL-China.com
Current: 2021 Chinese Super League

The Chinese Football Association Super League (simplified Chinese :中国足球协会超级联赛; traditional Chinese :中國足球協會超級聯賽; pinyin :Zhōngguó Zúqiú Xiéhuì Chāojí Liánsài), commonly known as Chinese Super League (simplified Chinese :中超联赛; traditional Chinese :中超聯賽; pinyin :Zhōngchāo Liánsài) or CSL, currently known as the China Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League for sponsorship reasons, [1] is the highest tier of professional football in China, operating under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association (CFA).

Contents

The Chinese Super League was created by the rebranding of the former top division Chinese Football Association Jia-A League in 2004 (see Chinese Jia-A League, not to be confused with Chinese Football Association Jia League, which is the current second-tier league).

Originally contested by 12 teams in its inaugural year, the league has since expanded, with 16 teams competing in the 2020 season. A total of 32 teams have competed in the CSL since its inception, with 8 of them winning the title: Guangzhou (eight), Shandong Taishan (three), Shenzhen, Dalian Shide, Changchun Yatai, Beijing Guoan, Shanghai Port, and Jiangsu (all one title). The current Super League champions are Jiangsu, who won the 2020 edition.

The Chinese Super League is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in China, with an average attendance of 24,107 for league matches in the 2018 season. This is the twelfth-highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world and the sixth-highest of any professional association football league in the world, behind Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and Liga MX.

The League is now running under the authorization of the Chinese Football Association, The CSL Company, which is currently the commercial branch of the League, is a corporation in which the CFA and all of the member clubs act as shareholders. It is planned that the CFA will ultimately transfer their shares of The CSL Company to the clubs and professional union which consists of CSL clubs will be established as the League's management entity.[ citation needed ]

Overview

Competition

Unlike many top European leagues like Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, the Chinese Super League starts in February or March and ends in November or December. In each season, each club plays each of the other clubs twice, once at home and another away. With 16 clubs currently in the Super League, teams play 30 games each, for a total of 240 games in the season.

The two lowest-placed teams by the end of the season are relegated to the China League One and the top two teams from the League One are promoted, taking their places.

The League position is determined by the highest number of points accumulated during the season. If two or more teams are level on points, tiebreakers are, in the following order

  1. Highest number of points accumulated in matches between the teams concerned;
  2. Highest goal difference in matches between the teams concerned;
  3. Highest number of goals scored in matches between the teams concerned;
  4. Highest points accumulated by the reserve teams in the reserve league
  5. Highest points accumulated by the U19 teams in the U19 league
  6. Highest goal difference;
  7. Highest number of goals scored;
  8. Fair-Play points (Clubs deduct 1 point for a yellow card, and 3 points for a red card);
  9. Draw by lot;

Chinese Super League clubs in international competition

When the Asian Football Confederation started the AFC Champions League in the 2002–03 season, China was given 2 slots in the competition. Qualification for the AFC Champions League changed in 2009 as AFC distributed 4 slots to China. The top three of the league, as well as the winner of the Chinese FA Cup, qualify for the AFC Champions League of the next year. If the FA Cup finalists finish the league in 3rd or higher, the 4th place team in the league will take the Champions League spot.

Between the 2002–03 and the 2017 season, Chinese clubs won the AFC Champions League two times, behind Korean K-League with five wins, and Japanese J-League with three wins.

The Chinese Super League is currently first in the AFC Club Competitions Ranking of Asian leagues based on their performances in Asian competitions over a four-year period and FIFA ranking for national teams. [2]

Development

On 17 November 2017, the Vice-president of the CFA, Li Yuyi, disclosed the expansion plan of the top four level leagues of China. The Chinese Super League is planning to expand to 18 clubs, followed by China League One with 20 clubs, China League Two with 32 clubs and the Chinese Football Association Member Association Champions League with 48 clubs. [3]

Also, the CFA stated that "we should build CSL the 6th best league in the world."[ citation needed ]

History

Origins

The Chinese National Football League was started in 1951, namely the National Football Conference, it was a round-robin tournament with 8 teams participating. In 1954, the competition was renamed as National Football League, the League was divided into two Divisions in 1956 and promotion/relegation between the two tiers started since 1957. In the 1980s, the Chinese Football Association allowed enterprise entities to sponsor and invest in football teams. The League entered Semi-pro period in 1987, sponsored by Goldlion Group, the league played its first ever home and away season, teams participating includes the top 7 clubs of 1986 Division 1 together with Liaoning, who was 1985 season champions but did not compete in 1986 league season due to participate in Asian Club Championship, the tournament was named as National Football League Division 1 Group A, shortly as Chinese Jia-A League, the other 8 clubs of Division 1 and top 4 clubs from Division 2 participated in Chinese Jia-B League. The two groups merged in 1988 season but divided again in 1989.

In 1994, as part of the sports system reform project, the Chinese Jia-A League became the country's first professional football league. The Jia-A league achieved success in its early years, but in the late ’90s heavy criticism existed towards the League's management practices like the lack of continuity in key policies, and some of its member clubs was criticised for a lack of sustainable development. At the same time, the league was affected by gambling, match-fixing and corruption. [4] the chaotic state of Jia-A causes troubled investment environment with sponsors and club owners bowing out. The Chinese Football Association then decided to reform the League system, which ultimately led to the creation of the Chinese Super League. The initial conception is to introduce truly commercial methods and let professional football market operate more freely, drawing on the experience of professional Leagues in Europe to redesign the league structure and strengthen professionalism.

On January 13, 2001, Yan Shiduo, vice-president of the Chinese Football Association, discussed about setting up a new professional league system. [5] In 2002, the CFA made a decision to establish the Chinese Super League, which started in 2004.

Foundation

Compared to the Jia-A, the CSL is a lot more demanding on teams. The CFA and CSL committee imposed a range of minimum criteria to ensure professional management and administration, financial probity, and a youth development program at every club. The CSL published first edition of CSL club criteria in 2002 and revised it several times, club license system was introduced since 2004. Besides the regular professional league, the CSL also has a reserve league, and Youth super league plays in U-19,U-17,U-15,U-14 and U-13 levels.

The CSL and China League One's goals are to promote high quality and high-level competition, introduce advanced managerial concepts to the market, enforce the delivery of minimum standards of professionalism, encourage the influx of more higher quality foreign coaches and players, and gradually establish the European system for player registrations and transfers.

Summary

The first CSL season began in 2004, with 12 teams in the league. The inaugural season was plagued with controversy, which continued from the former league, Jia-A, and where, since 1999, scandals such as match fixing and gambling had been uncovered. [6] This resulted in loss of interest in the domestic game, low attendances and great financial losses.[ citation needed ]

The original plan was to have one relegated team and two promoted teams for the 2004 season and 2005 season, thus increasing the number of teams in 2006 to 14. But the CFA's decisions caused the relegations to be cancelled for these 2 years.

For the 2005 season, the league expanded to 14 teams after Wuhan Huanghelou and Zhuhai Zobon won promotion from China League One. The Zhuhai team, formerly named Zhuhai Anping, had been bought by the Shanghai Zobon real estate company and relocated to Shanghai for the 2005 season, and subsequently renamed to Shanghai Zobon.

In 2006, the league was planned to expand to 16 teams with the newly promoted Xiamen Blue Lions and Changchun Yatai. However, Sichuan First City withdrew before the start of the season, leaving only 15 teams when the season started on March 11. Shanghai Zobon, after another change of ownership, was renamed Shanghai United.

In 2007, the league was again planned to be expanded to 16 teams, but once again it found itself one team short. Shanghai United's owner, Zhu Jun, bought a major share in local rival Shanghai Shenhua and merged the two teams. As a result, Shanghai Shenhua retained its name as it already had a strong fanbase in the city, while Shanghai United pulled out of the league.

In 2008, the season started with 16 clubs participating for the first time, however Wuhan protested against punishments made by the CFA after a match against Beijing Guoan, and announced its immediate withdrawal from the league, which left the season to finish with 15 clubs.

Since 2009, the league has run with 16 stable clubs participating in each year. Two are relegated to China League One, and two promoted from China League One each season.

In 2010, the CSL was beset by a scandal going right to the top of the CFA. The Chinese government took nationwide action against football gambling, match-fixing and corruption, and former CFA vice presidents Xie Yalong, Nan Yong and Yang Yimin were arrested. [7] On February 22, 2010, CFA relegate Guangzhou Yiyao for match-fixing in 2006 China League One Season, as well as Chengdu Blades for match-fixing in 2007 China League One season. [8]

In 2011, the anti-corruption movement had visibly improved the image of the CSL, with increases to attendance. Clubs such as Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua began investing heavily in foreign stars. After former Fluminense midfielder Darío Conca transferred in 2011, some notable signings during the 2012 seasons included former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita and Fábio Rochemback, former Sevilla forward Frédéric Kanouté, former Blackburn Rovers forward Yakubu and former Borussia Dortmund forward Lucas Barrios. Former Japanese national team coach Takeshi Okada took up the reins as the new coach of Hangzhou Greentown, former Argentina national team coach Sergio Batista replaced Jean Tigana as Shanghai Shenhua's head coach, and former Italy national team and Juventus manager Marcello Lippi replaced Lee Jang-Soo as Guangzhou Evergrande's head coach.

In 2012, Guangzhou Evergrande became the first Chinese team to defend their CSL title, and to win consecutive titles. However, eight-time champions of Professional League, Dalian Shide, had seriously financial problems during the entire season, especially after the arrest of club owner Xu Ming. They had planned to merge with Dalian Aerbin, the other CSL club of the city, but the Chinese Football Association blocked the merger at the end, as Dalian Shide failed to cancel their registration as a CSL club before the merger. So Aerbin effectively purchased and swallowed up Shide, including the club's famed academy and training facilities. Dalian Shide was officially dissolved on 31 January 2013. The country's most successful club had ceased to exist.

In 2013, David Beckham became first global ambassador for CSL. Guangzhou Evergrande won AFC Champions League for first time. In February 2013, Shanghai Shenhua was stripped of its 2003 Chinese Ji-A league title as part of a broad match-fixing crackdown. In total, 12 clubs were handed punishments, while 33 people, including former CFA vice-president Xie Yalong and Nan Yong, received life bans. Also in 2013, Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao won the Asian Champions League title, the first time a Chinese Super League team has won that award.

In 2014, Guangzhou Evergrande became the first Chinese club to win four consecutive professional league titles.

In 2015, ex-Tottenham midfielder Paulinho moved to Guangzhou Evergrande at the age of 27, Guangzhou Evergrande become AFC champions League champions for second time.

In 2016, Chinese super league became a rising power in the global transfer market. Brazil international Ramires, Colombia international Jackson Martinez and Fredy Guarin were among the notable signings, while Pavel Nedvěd was appointed as second global ambassador for CSL.

2017 saw the Chinese Super League (CSL) catapulted to global attention. Players such as Oscar, Carlos Tevez, Ricardo Carvalho, Alexandre Pato and Mikel John Obi all moved east during the year. Guangzhou Evergrande won their 7th consecutive league title.

2018, in the 28th round of the 2018 Chinese Super League, the two title favourites Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao clashed head-to-head, with Shanghai SIPG coming away with 5 - 4 hard win over Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao to open up the points gap with Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao. At last, Shanghai SIPG won the 2018 Chinese Super League Champion , thus breaking Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao's 7-year monopoly of the Chinese Super League.

At the 2019 CSL Mobilization Meeting, the CFA Referees Committee officially announced that a professional referee system will be introduced in the CSL in 2019, with two foreign referees including Mark Clattenburg, Milorad Mažić, and three local referees to be officially hired as the first professional referees in the history of Chinese football. The two foreign professional referees will be mainly responsible for enforcing the Chinese Super League, but will also provide coaching and training for local referees.

Affected by COVID-19,the 2020 Chinese Super League has been postponed to July 25. The 16 teams will be divided into two groups to play in Suzhou and Dalian. This year's league was temporarily changed to a "Group stage + Knockout" format and adopted a tournament system.

In July 2021 ,Nigerian Chinese teenager Su Yuliang also called Chinese Mbappe’ was set for Chinese Super League debut for Guangzhou City. Su Yulia was born in Guangzhou, and is predicted to become become youngest scorer in China’s top league [9]

Planning cooperation structure

The preparatory committee of the Chinese Professional Football League was established on May 27, 2016, [10] with members from 5 CSL clubs, 3 CL1 clubs and 2 CL2 clubs, includes two CFA representatives. The blueprint is to have all of the three professional level leagues of China, the Chinese Super League, China Football League one and China Football League two separated from the League structure of the CFA. The PFL will be a private company wholly owned by its Member Clubs who make up the League at any one time. Each club is a shareholder, with one vote each on issues such as rule changes and contracts. The newly formed PFL would have commercial independence from The CFA, giving the PFL licence to negotiate its own broadcast and sponsorship agreements.

The CFA will no longer hold any shares of the League, but as national governing body for football in China the CFA is responsible for sanctioning competition Rule Books, and regulating on-field matters. It also organises The CFA Cup competition, in which PFL Member Clubs compete and the lower division leagues ranked after CL2, under specific agreement between CFA and PFL. The CFA also has the ability to exercise a vote on certain specific issues, but has no role in the day-to-day running of the CSL, CL1 and CL2.

On January 3, 2017, the CFA announced that Chinese Professional Football League, formed as a limited company, will be established in March 2017, the CSL and CL1 clubs will be found members of the PFL starts from 2017, with CL2 planning to join the system by 2019. The PFL preparatory committee will discuss and establish the regulations and the structures of the PFL, holding the elections of the PFL president in January and February 2017. However, after a series of meetings includes CFA officers and club owners, the plan had been put on hold.

Clubs

Chinese Super League seasons and champions

SeasonChampionsRunners-up
2004 Shenzhen Jianlibao Shandong Luneng
2005 Dalian Shide Shanghai Shenhua
2006 Shandong Luneng Shanghai Shenhua
2007 Changchun Yatai Beijing Guoan
2008 Shandong Luneng Shanghai Shenhua
2009 Beijing Guoan Changchun Yatai
2010 Shandong Luneng Tianjin TEDA
2011 Guangzhou Evergrande Beijing Guoan
2012 Guangzhou Evergrande Jiangsu Sainty
2013 Guangzhou Evergrande Shandong Luneng
2014 Guangzhou Evergrande Beijing Guoan
2015 Guangzhou Evergrande Shanghai SIPG
2016 Guangzhou Evergrande Jiangsu Suning
2017 Guangzhou Evergrande Shanghai SIPG
2018 Shanghai SIPG Guangzhou Evergrande
2019 Guangzhou Evergrande Beijing Guoan
2020 Jiangsu Suning Guangzhou Evergrande

Performances in Chinese Super League

ClubTitlesRunners-upWinning seasonsRunner-up seasons
Guangzhou
8
2
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 20192018, 2020
Shandong Taishan
3
2
2006, 2008, 20102004, 2013
Beijing Guoan
1
4
20092007, 2011, 2014, 2019
Shanghai Port
1
2
20182015, 2017
Jiangsu
1
2
20202012, 2016
Changchun Yatai
1
1
20072009
Shenzhen
1
0
2004
Dalian Shide
1
0
2005
Shanghai Shenhua
0
3
2005, 2006, 2008
Tianjin Jinmen Tiger
0
1
2010
Total1717

Current clubs

ClubChinese nameOwnersHome stadiumCapacitySeasons in CSLBest finishWorst finishSpell in level 1
Beijing Guoan 北京国安Sinobo Group (64%); CITIC Group (36%) Workers' Stadium 66,0002004 to 20211st, 20099th, 2017from 2004
Cangzhou Mighty Lions 沧州雄狮Everbright Group Cangzhou Stadium 31,8362015 to 2016, 2020 to 20217th, 201516th, 2016, 2020from 2020
Changchun Yatai 长春亚泰Changchun Jiarun Investment (100%) Changchun Stadium 38,5002006 to 2018, 20211st, 200715th, 2018from 2021
Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic 重庆两江竞技Desports (90%); Lifan Group (10%) Chongqing Olympic Sports Center 58,6002004 to 2006, 2009 to 2010, 2015 to 20216th, 202016th, 2009from 2015
Dalian Pro 大连人 Dalian Wanda Group Dalian Sports Centre Stadium 61,0002012 to 2014, 2018 to 20215th, 2012, 201315th, 2014from 2018
Guangzhou 广州 Evergrande Group (60%); Alibaba Group (40%) Tianhe Stadium 58,5002008 to 2009, 2011 to 20211st, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 20199th, 2009from 2011
Guangzhou City 广州城Guangzhou R&F Properties Co., Ltd. Yuexiushan Stadium 18,0002004 to 2010, 2012 to 20213rd, 201416th, 2010from 2012
Hebei 河北China Fortune Land Development Co., Ltd Langfang Stadium 30,0402016 to 20214th, 201711th, 2019from 2016
Henan Songshan Longmen 河南嵩山龙门Henan Haolin Investment (95.7%) Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium 29,8002007 to 2012, 2014 to 20213rd, 200916th, 2012from 2014
Qingdao 青岛Shenzhen Hengye Investment Group Co., ltd. (63.625%); Qingdao Huanghai Health Industry Group Co., ltd. (27%); Others (9.375%) Conson Stadium 45,0002020 to 202114th, 202014th, 2020from 2020
Shandong Taishan 山东泰山 State Grid Corporation of China Jinan Olympic Sports Luneng Stadium 56,8002004 to 20211st, 2006, 2008, 201014th, 2016from 2004
Shanghai Shenhua 上海申花 Greenland Group Hongkou Football Stadium 33,0602004 to 20212nd, 2005, 2006, 200813th, 2019from 2004
Shanghai Port 上海海港 Shanghai International Port Group Pudong Football Stadium 33,7652013 to 20211st, 20189th, 2013from 2013
Shenzhen 深圳Kaisa Group Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre 60,3342004 to 2011, 2019 to 20211st, 200416th, 2011from 2019
Tianjin Jinmen Tiger 天津津门虎TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd. (85.4%) Tianjin Olympic Center 54,6962004 to 20212nd, 201014th, 2018from 2004
Wuhan 武汉Wuhan Zall Development Holding Co. Ltd Wuhan Five Rings Sports Center 30,0002013, 2019 to 20216th, 201916th, 2013from 2019

Former clubs

ClubChinese nameSeasons in CSLBest finishWorst finishCurrent league
Guizhou Hengfeng 贵州恒丰2017 to 20188th, 201716th, 2018 China League One
Zhejiang Greentown 浙江绿城2007 to 20164th, 201015th, 2009, 2016 China League One
Harbin Yiteng 哈尔滨毅腾201416th, 2014 China League Two
Qingdao Jonoon 青岛中能2004 to 20136th, 201115th, 2013 China League Two
Jiangsu 江苏2009 to 20201st, 202013th, 2013Defunct
Beijing Renhe 北京人和2004 to 2015, 2018 to 20193rd, 200416th, 2019Defunct
Tianjin Tianhai 天津天海2017 to 20193rd, 201714th, 2019Defunct
Liaoning 辽宁2004 to 2008, 2010 to 20173rd, 201116th, 2017Defunct
Yanbian Funde 延边富德2016 to 20179th, 201615th, 2017Defunct
Shanghai Shenxin 上海申鑫2010 to 20157th, 201316th, 2015Defunct
Dalian Shide 大连实德2004 to 20121st, 200514th, 2008, 2012Defunct
Chengdu Blades 成都谢菲联2008 to 2009, 20119th, 200915th, 2011Defunct
Wuhan Optics Valley 武汉光谷2005 to 20085th, 200516th, 2008Defunct
Xiamen Blue Lions 厦门蓝狮2006 to 20078th, 200615th, 2007Defunct
Shanghai United 上海联城2005 to 20067th, 200611th, 2005Defunct
Sichuan First City 四川冠城2004 to 20059th, 2004, 2005Defunct

All-time CSL table

The All-time CSL table is an overall record of all match results, points, and goals of every team that has played in CSL since its inception in 2004. The table is accurate as of the end of the 2019 season.

PosTeamSGPWDLGFGAGDPts1st2nd
1 Shandong Taishan 1646423112410981053427681732
2 Beijing Guoan 1646422812611071346125281014
3 Guangzhou 11330203715670332837568081
4 Shanghai Shenhua 16464177143144648603456683
5 Tianjin Jinmen Tiger 1646416714015760760076411
6 Changchun Yatai 13386142107137512508453311
7 Guangzhou City 15434138117179559653−94531
8 Beijing Renhe 14404124127153475528−53499
9 Jiangsu 11330122101107458398604672
10 Liaoning 13374106110158440566−126428
11 Henan Songshan Longmen 12358106107145371457−86425
12 Shanghai Port 7210113554241523917639412
13 Dalian Shide 9254967880332304283661
14 Zhejiang Greentown 102988792119325392−67353
15 Qingdao Jonoon 102848287115303361−58333
16 Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic 102866784135306457−151285
17 Shenzhen 92546379112258364−1062681
18 Dalian Pro 5150484359204242−38187
19 Shanghai Shenxin 6180464391176265−89181
20 Hebei 4120452946172181-9164
21 Tianjin Tianhai 390283131127134-7115
22 Wuhan Optics Valley 411230235991189−98113
23 Chengdu Blades 39023293889123−3498
24 Cangzhou Mighty Lions 2601524216284−2269
25 Guizhou 2601993273111−3866
26 Shanghai United 2541419215060−1061
27 Wuhan 2601515306599−3460
28 Yanbian Funde 26015143171105−3459
29 Xiamen Blue Lions 2561319245073−2358
30 Sichuan First City 2481216205782−2552
31 Harbin Yiteng 13056193556−2121
32 Qingdao ---------
Total163,3742,2081852
[nb 1]
2,2089,1648,47616
2020 Chinese Super League
2020 China League One
2020 China League Two
2020 Chinese Champions League
Clubs that no longer exist

Rivalries

There are several key rivalries and local derbies that have formed in the Chinese Super League, including:

"Shanghai Derbies"

"Guangzhou Derbies"

"Dalian Derbies"

"Tianjin Derbies"

"Beijing Derbies"

Players

Player salaries and transfers

Professional footballers in China receive relatively high salaries when compared to other Chinese sports leagues and football leagues in other countries. The average salary for CSL players is $1,016,579 in 2017, [11] it is ranked at eleventh place among all of the professional sports leagues and the sixth-highest of any professional association football league in the world.

CSL has two transfer windows—the primary pre-season transfer window lasts two months from January to February, and the secondary mid season transfer window runs one month from mid June to mid July. As of the 2018 season, the CSL introduced new rules mandating that each club must register a maximum 31-man squad, with 27 Chinese Players, including a player from Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese Taipei, and 4 foreign players. In the transfer window clubs could sign 5 Chinese players at any age, plus 3 under 21 Chinese players; clubs could register 4 foreign players in the winter transfer, and replace two of them in the summer transfer. [12]

The record transfer fee for a CSL player has risen rapidly since the investment boost started in 2015. The six most expensive transfers with players coming to CSL have exceeded €30 million, with Chelsea selling Oscar to Shanghai SIPG in December 2016 for a fee of €60 million, [13] Zenit Saint Petersburg selling Hulk to Shanghai SIPG for €55.8 million in July 2016, Shakhtar Donetsk selling Alex Teixeira to Jiangsu Suning for €50 million in February 2016, Atlético Madrid selling Jackson Martínez to Guangzhou Evergrande for €42 million in February 2016, Villarreal selling Cédric Bakambu to Beijing Guoan for €40 million in February 2018, Atlético Madrid selling Yannick Carrasco to Dalian Yifang for €30 million in February 2018. Guangzhou Evergrande's sale of Paulinho to Barcelona for €40 million in 2017 broke the record for a CSL player transfer to other leagues. Transfer fees for domestic players also increased dramatically. Beijing Guoan sold Chinese International Zhang Chengdong to Hebei China Fortune for ¥150 million in January 2017, breaking the domestic transfer record for Chinese players.

The Chinese Football Association introduced a new transfer tax to restrict transfer spending. On June 20, 2017, CFA announced that any club that pays more than ¥45 million for a foreign player transfer or ¥20 million for a Chinese player transfer must pay the same amount to a CFA youth development fund. [14]

In December 2020, the CFA imposed a salary cap on the Super League. Starting with the 2021 season, total player wages are capped at ¥600 million, with a separate limit of €10 million for foreign players. Individual player salaries are also capped, at ¥5 million before tax for Chinese players and €3 million for foreign players. [15]

Foreign Player policy

In early years numerous players from Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America regions were signed as the foreign players in the Chinese league. Steadily, a lot of players transferred to China from major European and South American Leagues. The league has rules, at present, restricting the number of foreign players strictly to four per team. A team could use a maximum of three foreign players on the field each game. This is to promote native player improvement and to conform to rules regarding international club competitions in the AFC. Between 2009 and 2017, there was an additional slot for a player from AFC countries. During the middle of the 2012 season, it was decided that teams that were competing in the AFC Champions League were allowed to have two extra foreign players, which can bring the number of foreigners on a team's seven; however, the policy was removed in the 2013 season.

SeasonSquadMatchOn-fieldNote
1994–2000333
2001–2003443From 2001, foreign goalkeepers were restricted to play in matches.
2004–2006332
2007–2008443
2009–20164+14+13+1"+1" refers to the AFC quota. Teams may add a player from another country within the AFC; examples include Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal.
20174+133Teams can use three foreign players at most in a match. [16]
2018–2019.7433Teams can use three foreign players at most in a match. The number of foreign players on-field in one match must be no more than the number of U-23 domestic players. [17]
2019.7–2019.12443
2020–554

Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwanese players

Policy for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwanese players has changed continually. Players from Hong Kong Football Association were considered foreigners at the beginning of 2009, but the league held back the change until the summer transfer window. After the 2010 season, players from Macau Football Association and Chinese Taipei Football Association (except goalkeepers) were not considered foreigners in CSL matches, but will be regarded as foreigners in AFC competitions. In the 2015 season, players who had not played for the Hong Kong national football team, Macau national football team or the Chinese Taipei national football team were no longer deemed native players. [18] In the 2016 and 2017 season, players from the three associations whose contract was signed after 1 January 2016 were no longer deemed native players. [19] From the 2018 season, a club could register one non-naturalized player from the three associations as a native player. [20] According to the Chinese FA, a non-naturalized player refers to someone who was first registered as a professional footballer in the three football associations. Furthermore, Hong Kong or Macau players must be of Chinese descent of Hong Kong or Macau permanent resident, and Taiwanese players must be citizens of Taiwan. [21]

Top scorers and Appearances

As of 28 August 2019

Head coaches

In early years Chinese and Serbian coaches achieved success in the Chinese Super League. Just like the Jia-A period, the majority of foreign coaches were from countries like Serbia, Croatia and South Korea. Nowadays most CSL clubs appoint coaches from Western Europe and South America. Guangzhou Evergrande were the first side to spend big to bring in European and South American coaches. World Cup winning managers Marcello Lippi and Luiz Felipe Scolari had successful experiences at Guangzhou Evergrande. Famous coaches who have coached in China include Fabio Capello, Felix Magath, Manuel Pellegrini, Dan Petrescu, André Villas-Boas, Cuca, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Sergio Batista, Radomir Antić.

Winning head coaches
Head coachClubWinsWinning years
Flag of Italy.svg Marcello Lippi Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 32012, 2013, 2014
Flag of Brazil.svg Luiz Felipe Scolari Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2015, 2016, 2017
Flag of Serbia.svg Ljubiša Tumbaković Shandong Luneng Taishan 22006, 2008
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zhu Guanghu Shenzhen Jianlibao 12004
Flag of Serbia.svg Vladimir Petrović Pižon Dalian Shide 2005
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Gao Hongbo Changchun Yatai 2007
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Hong Yuanshuo Beijing Guoan 2009
Flag of Croatia.svg Branko Ivanković Shandong Luneng Taishan 2010
Flag of South Korea.svg Lee Jang-Soo Guangzhou Evergrande 2011
Flag of Portugal.svg Vítor Pereira Shanghai SIPG 2018
Flag of Italy.svg Fabio Cannavaro Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019
Flag of Romania.svg Cosmin Olăroiu Jiangsu Suning 2020
Current head coaches
Nat.NameClubAppointedTime in charge
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Jean-Paul van Gastel Guangzhou City 23 February 2021208 days
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Wang Baoshan Tianjin Teda 19 August 20201 year, 31 days
Flag of Italy.svg Fabio Cannavaro Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 9 November 20173 years, 314 days
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Li Xiaopeng Wuhan Zall 27 December 2020266 days
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Hao Wei Shandong Luneng Taishan 5 October 2020349 days
Flag of Croatia.svg Ivan Leko Shanghai Port 1 January 2021261 days
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Jordi Cruyff Shenzhen FC 14 August 20201 year, 36 days
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Xie Feng Hebei China Fortune 10 May 20192 years, 117 days
Flag of South Korea.svg Chang Woe-ryong Chongqing Dangdai Lifan 18 December 20191 year, 275 days
Flag of Spain.svg Javier Pereira Henan Jianye 11 September 20201 year, 8 days
Flag of South Korea.svg Choi Kang-hee Shanghai Greenland Shenhua 5 July 20192 years, 76 days
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Wang Bo Beijing Renhe 11 December 20191 year, 282 days
Vacant Dalian Yifang
Flag of Croatia.svg Slaven Bilić Beijing Sinobo Guoan 6 January 2021256 days
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Chen Yang Changchun Yatai 5 October 2020349 days
Flag of Spain.svg Jordi Vinyals Zhejiang Pro 1 January 2021261 days
Most games managed
RankManagerGamesClub(s)
1 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Ma Lin 245Liaoning FC (2004, 2008, 2010–2013, 2015–2017); Chongqing Lifan (2005); Dalian Yifang (2014)
2 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Shen Xiangfu 203Beijing Guoan (2005–2006); Guangzhou Pharmaceutical (2008–2009); Changchun Yatai (2010–2011); Henan Jianye (2012); Shanghai Shenhua (2013–2014)
3 Flag of Serbia.svg Ljubiša Tumbaković 178Shandong Luneng Taishan (2004–2009); Wuhan Zall (2013)
4 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Gao Hongbo 160Xiamen Lanshi (2006); Changchun Yatai (2007–2008); Guizhou Renhe (2011–2012); Shanghai East Asia (2013); Jiangsu Sainty (2013–2015)
5 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Jia Xiuquan 152Henan Jianye (2008, 2014–2017); Shanghai Shenhua (2008–2009)
5 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Tang Yaodong 152Liaoning FC (2005–2007); Henan Jianye (2008–2010, 2014)
6 Flag of South Korea.svg Chang Woe-Ryong 149Qingdao Jonoon (2011, 2012–2013); Dalian Aerbin (2011); Chongqing Lifan (2016–2017); Henan Jianye (2018)
7 Flag of South Korea.svg Lee Jang-Soo 148Beijing Guoan (2006–2009); Guangzhou Evergrande (2011–2012); Changchun Yatai (2016–2017)
9 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Arie Haan 137Chongqing Lifan (2009); Tianjin Teda (2010–2011, 2014–2015)
10 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Zhu Jiong 136Shanghai Shenxin (2010–2013); Guizhou Renhe (2014–2015)
Statistics correct as of the end of the 2018 Chinese Super League

Attendance

The Chinese Super League has the highest average attendance of any football league in Asia. However, stadiums have capacity restrictions.

Season averages

SeasonTotal AttendanceGamesAverageChangeHigh avg.TeamNo. Of ClubsRelegation Slots
2004 1,430,60013210,838-63.4%23,636 Shandong Luneng Taishan 12-
2005 1,871,70018210,284-5.4%26,000 Shandong Luneng Taishan 14-
2006 2,228,30021010,611+3.2%30,679 Shandong Luneng Taishan 151
2007 3,173,50021015,112+42.4%24,643 Shanxi Chanba 151
2008 3,065,28022813,444-12.4%26,501 Shandong Luneng Taishan 162
2009 3,854,11524016,059+19.5%36,805 Beijing Guoan 162
2010 3,499,30424014,581-9.2%33,342 Beijing Guoan 162
2011 4,236,32224017,651+21.1%45,666 Guangzhou Evergrande 162
2012 4,497,57824018,740+6.2%37,250 Guangzhou Evergrande 162
2013 4,456,97724018,571-0.9%40,428 Guangzhou Evergrande 162
2014 4,556,52024018,986+2.2%42,154 Guangzhou Evergrande 162
2015 5,326,30424022,193+16.8%45,889 Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 162
2016 5,798,13524024,159+8.8%44,883 Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 162
2017 5,703,87124023,766−1.6%45,587 Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 162
2018 5,785,76624024,107+1.4%47,002 Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 162

Attendance by clubs

This table lists average attendances of clubs yearly, but only for seasons when that club played in the top division. Clubs are listed with their current names.

TeamCrowd average
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Beijing Guoan 10,86418,92313,57121,57114,64136,80533,34240,39736,87939,26939,39540,99738,11434,68441,743
Beijing Renhe 8,4554,38517,28624,64324,62523,02628,05327,83629,57421,31212,32715,13912,534
Changchun Yatai 8,60716,4295,79712,17910,06713,83512,70112,97512,88614,85515,33516,47718,819
Chongqing Dangdai Lifan 15,7275,7316,53611,44011,43337,59536,17834,43932,434
Chengdu Blades 12,37811,8736,443
Dalian Yifang 15,77410,53810,99333,145
Dalian Shide 11,27314,0005,04310,2867,90016,61312,30717,14811,093
Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 19,62420,05745,66637,25040,42842,15445,88944,88345,58747,002
Guangzhou City 5,0002,0772,75010,5716,6458,49810,1528,46010,38411,4877,9899,8319,90410,321
Guizhou Hengfeng 21,10216,703
Hebei China Fortune 18,46918,05416,029
Henan Jianye 16,85716,26719,25518,63016,33417,52618,39020,20717,28218,93318,402
Jiangsu Suning 15,97610,66717,17031,16328,80824,34926,85838,99232,69732,508
Liaoning Whowin 7,72711,0006,92915,92911,73310,10019,62118,63820,85012,78112,78822,50612,429
Qingdao Jonoon 4,6454,5006,0717,1796,6008,7746,2478,4649,5388,284
Shandong Luneng Taishan 23,63626,00030,67922,60726,50117,01515,90112,11220,14827,68323,93122,55918,93230,28324,785
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua 13,63612,46212,78611,39311,51012,62712,9639,82814,76112,73915,41719,50622,69019,02121,480
Shanghai Shenxin 11,68010,46211,5978,55910,1157,028
Shanghai SIPG 10,16112,46026,38128,04029,17421,631
Shanghai United 4,8852,193
Shenzhen F.C. 10,3642,42310,07113,0006,40013,46012,43910,277
Shijiazhuang Ever Bright 25,07022,523
Sichuan Guancheng 5,5455,477
Tianjin Tianhai 24,87719,695
Tianjin Teda 13,18216,46218,07115,42914,00714,55414,75718,24214,17516,57717,19019,66121,74014,53118,487
Wuhan Guanggu 15,65410,50013,17912,556
Wuhan Zall 14,403
Xiamen Lanshi 8,0718,036
Yanbian Funde 19,30418,058
Zhejiang Greentown 19,57112,18814,79014,5508,58610,56314,16413,76612,56611,723
Zhejiang Yiteng 26,126
Whole season10,83810,28410,61115,11213,44416,05914,58117,65118,74018,57118,98622,19324,15923,76624,107

Individual game highest attendance records

RankHome teamScoreAway teamAttendanceStadiumDate
1Jiangsu Sainty1–1Guangzhou Evergrande65,769Nanjing Olympic StadiumOctober 20, 2012
2Jiangsu Sainty1–2Guangzhou Evergrande58,792Nanjing Olympic StadiumJuly 14, 2013
3Beijing Sinobo Guoan1–1Shandong Luneng Taishan56,544Worker's StadiumAugust 5, 2018
4Guangzhou Evergrande1–0Guangzhou R&F56,300Tianhe StadiumAugust 25, 2013
5Beijing Sinobo Guoan2–2Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao56,211Worker's StadiumApril 22, 2018
6Beijing Guoan4–0Hangzhou Greentown54,116Worker's StadiumOctober 31, 2009
7Beijing Sinobo Guoan2–0Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao54,018Worker's StadiumJuly 10, 2017
8Beijing Sinobo Guoan2–2Shandong Luneng Taishan53,906Worker's StadiumAugust 5, 2017
9Beijing Sinobo Guoan4–0Beijing Renhe53,887Worker's StadiumMarch 31, 2018
10Beijing Guoan0–2Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao53,526Worker's StadiumOctober 31, 2015

Awards

The official Chinese Super league annual awards are given to clubs, players, managers and referees based on their performance during the season.

Trophy

The Fire-god trophy is the official trophy award to CSL champions. The trophy was created by the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and donated by the official partner of the Chinese Super League, Hengyuanxiang Group, in 2004. It consists of a pure gold trophy and a nephrite plinth base. The lower part of the trophy is the model of a Great Wall beacon tower; on the upper part, on top of the rising beacon, is a football wrapped by the earth, while the base has the engraved years and names of each Chinese Super League winner since 2004. The trophy weighs 5.548 kilograms (12.23 lb). The trophy and plinth are 52 cm (20 in) tall.

The trophy is not awarded to the winning club permanently. After the award ceremony they are awarded a replica, and they are allowed to retain the genuine trophy for one year.

Player of the Year

It is also named the "Most Valuable Player".

YearFootballerClubNationality
2004 Zhao Junzhe Liaoning Zhongyu Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2005 Branko Jelić Beijing Guoan Flag of Serbia.svg Serbia
2006 Zheng Zhi Shandong Luneng Taishan Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2007 Du Zhenyu Changchun Yatai
2008 Emil Martínez Shanghai Shenhua Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg Honduras
2009 Samuel Caballero Changchun Yatai
2010 Duvier Riascos Shanghai Shenhua Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia
2011 Muriqui Guangzhou Evergrande Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil
2012 Cristian Dănălache Jiangsu Sainty Flag of Romania.svg Romania
2013 Darío Conca Guangzhou Evergrande Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina
2014 Elkeson Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil
2015 Ricardo Goulart Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
2016
2017 Eran Zahavi Guangzhou R&F Flag of Israel.svg Israel
2018 Wu Lei Shanghai SIPG Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2019 Paulinho Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil

Golden Boot Award

This award is awarded to the top goalscorer of the league that year.

YearTop scorerClubGoals
2004 Flag of Ghana.svg Kwame Ayew Inter Shanghai 17
2005 Flag of Serbia.svg Branko Jelić Beijing Guoan 21
2006 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Li Jinyu Shandong Luneng Taishan 26
200715
2008 Flag of Brazil.svg Éber Luís Tianjin Teda 14
2009 Flag of Argentina.svg Hernán Barcos
Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg Luis Ramírez
Shenzhen Asia Travel / Shanghai Shenhua
Guangzhou GPC
17
2010 Flag of Colombia.svg Duvier Riascos Shanghai Shenhua 20
2011 Flag of Brazil.svg Muriqui Guangzhou Evergrande 16
2012 Flag of Romania.svg Cristian Dănălache Jiangsu Sainty 23
2013 Flag of Brazil.svg Elkeson Guangzhou Evergrande 24
201428
2015 Flag of Brazil.svg Aloísio Shandong Luneng Taishan 22
2016 Flag of Brazil.svg Ricardo Goulart Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 19
2017 Flag of Israel.svg Eran Zahavi Guangzhou R&F 27
2018 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Wu Lei Shanghai SIPG 27
2019 Flag of Israel.svg Eran Zahavi Guangzhou R&F 29

There is also an award that is awarded to the top Chinese goalscorer of that season, which was first introduced in 2011.

YearTop scorerClubGoals
2011 Yu Hanchao Liaoning FC 12
2012 Wang Yongpo Shandong Luneng Taishan 10
2013 Wu Lei Shanghai East Asia 15
201412
2015 Shanghai SIPG 14
201614
201720
201827
2019 Wei Shihao Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 11

Manager of the Year

YearManagerClubStandingsNationality
2004 Zhu Guanghu Shenzhen Jianlibao Chinese Super League championsFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2005 Vladimir Petrović Dalian Shide Chinese Super League champions; Chinese FA Cup winnersFlag of Serbia.svg Serbia
2006 Ljubiša Tumbaković Shandong Luneng Taishan Chinese Super League champions; Chinese FA Cup winnersFlag of Serbia.svg Serbia
2007 Gao Hongbo Changchun Yatai Chinese Super League championsFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2008 Ljubiša Tumbaković Shandong Luneng Taishan Chinese Super League championsFlag of Serbia.svg Serbia
2009 Tang Yaodong Henan Jianye Chinese Super League third placeFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2010 Branko Ivanković Shandong Luneng Taishan Chinese Super League championsFlag of Croatia.svg Croatia
2011 Ma Lin Liaoning Whowin Chinese Super League third placeFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2012 Dragan Okuka Jiangsu Sainty Chinese Super League runners-upFlag of Serbia.svg Serbia
2013 Marcello Lippi Guangzhou Evergrande Chinese Super League champions; AFC Champions League winnersFlag of Italy.svg Italy
2014 Gregorio Manzano Beijing Guoan Chinese Super League runners-upFlag of Spain.svg Spain
2015 Luiz Felipe Scolari Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Chinese Super League champions; AFC Champions League winnersFlag of Brazil.svg Brazil
2016 Luiz Felipe Scolari Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Chinese Super League champions; Chinese FA Cup winnersFlag of Brazil.svg Brazil
2017 Fabio Cannavaro Tianjin Quanjian Chinese Super League 3rd placeFlag of Italy.svg Italy
2018 Li Xiaopeng Shandong Luneng Taishan Chinese Super League 3rd placeFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg China
2019 Li Xiaopeng Shandong Luneng Taishan Chinese Super League 3rd placeFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg China

Youth Player of the Year

YearFootballerClub
2004 Chen Tao Shenyang Ginde
2005 Hao Junmin Tianjin Teda
2006 Wang Dalei Shanghai Liancheng
2007 Hao Junmin Tianjin Teda
2008 Huang Bowen Beijing Guoan
2009 Deng Zhuoxiang Jiangsu Sainty
2010 Zheng Zheng Shandong Luneng Taishan
2011 Song Wenjie Qingdao Jonoon
2012 Zhang Xizhe Beijing Guoan
2013 Jin Jingdao Shandong Luneng Taishan
2014 Liu Binbin Shandong Luneng Taishan
2015Vacancy [22]
2016 Li Xiaoming Henan Jianye
2017 Hu Jinghang Henan Jianye
2018 Huang Zichang Jiangsu Suning
2019 Zhu Chenjie Shanghai Greenland Shenhua

There is also an award that is awarded to the U-23 player of the year, which was first introduced in 2017.

YearFootballerClub
2017 Huang Zhengyu Guangzhou R&F

Goalkeeper of the Year

YearFootballerClub
2012 Deng Xiaofei Jiangsu Sainty
2013 Zeng Cheng Guangzhou Evergrande
2014 Wang Dalei Shandong Luneng Taishan
2015 Zeng Cheng Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
2016
2017 Yan Junling Shanghai SIPG
2018
2019

Sponsors

Title sponsor

The current official title sponsor of the Chinese Super League is Ping'an Insurance, under the second sponsor deal between CSL and Ping'an from 2018 through 2022.

Sponsorships
SeasonSponsorAnnual valueOfficial league name
2004Siemens Mobile€8 millionSiemens Mobile Chinese Super League
2005No sponsorChinese Football Association Super League
2006IPhox€6 millionIphox Chinese Super League
2007 Kingway Beer ¥36 million [23] Kingway Beer Chinese Super League
2008¥38 millionKingway Beer Chinese Super League
2009 Pirelli €5 million [24] Pirelli Chinese Super League
2010€5 millionPirelli Chinese Super League
2011 Wanda Plaza ¥65 million [25] Wanda Plaza Chinese Super League
2012¥65 millionWanda Plaza Chinese Super League
2013¥65 millionWanda Plaza Chinese Super League
2014 Ping An Insurance ¥150 million [26] China Ping'an Chinese Super League
2015¥165 millionChina Ping'an Chinese Super League
2016¥181.5 millionChina Ping'an Chinese Super League
2017¥199.65 millionChina Ping'an Chinese Super League
2018¥200 millionChina Ping'an Chinese Super League

Partners and suppliers

As well as sponsorship for the league itself, the Chinese Super League has a number of official partners and suppliers. The official equipment supplier for the league is Nike who have had the contract since the 2005 season. According to data published by Imedia Culture Communication Co., Ltd, the sponsor value from official partners and suppliers of Chinese Super League reaches 600 million Yuan in 2017 season. [27]

The following table shows the partners and suppliers of the Chinese Super League. Bold denotes current sponsor.

CompanyDuration
Nike 2020-2029
DHL 2014–2020
Shell 2014–2019
TAG Heuer 2016–2019
Fengkuang.cn2017–2022
Tsingtao Laoshan Beer 2017–2021
Absen LED2017–2020
ImagineChina2017–2019
Ganten 2017–
Tmall 2018–2022
SAIC Motor 2018–2020
Eastroc Super Drink 2018–2019
JD.com 2010 2013–2017
Ford 2014–2017
Red Bull 2015–2017
Yanghe2017
Ledman Solar2011–2016
Carlsberg 2013–2016
Samsung 2013–2014
Huiyuan Juice 2014
China Auto Rental2013
SDLG 2011–2013
Harbin Beer 2011–2012
Shinery Motor2009–2010
Frestech 2010
Canon 2004–2008
CP-Freda2004–2006
Hengyuanxiang2004–2006
Hyundai Motors 2004–2005

Media coverage

China

The first broadcast rights holders of the rebranded Chinese Super League was the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), in September 2003 they signed the contract for 2004 to 2006 season. [28] The second SMG contract was signed in February 2007 for the five-year period from 2007 to 2011. [29]

CCTV acquired the CSL Television rights in 2012, and they held the rights until 2015 under annual contract, [30] CSL was broadcast in CCTV's public cable TV channel CCTV5 and CCTV5+. however, the Sateliite TV rights was sold to Cloud Media from 2014 to 2017.

Starting from the 2016 Season The Chinese Super League sold its television rights on a collective basis. However, it benefits CSL clubs almost equally according to CSL commercial contracts. The money is divided into three parts: 10% reserved for the Chinese football association and CSL company, which is paid out as facilities fees and management expenses, as to the remaining 90%, 81% of them is divided equally between the clubs; and 9% is awarded on a merit basis based on final league position. [31]

The current media rights holder is the China Sports Media Co., Ltd. (CSM, simplified Chinese: 体奥动力,pinyin: tǐ ào dòng lì ), CSM bought the rights for five seasons (2016–2020) for 8 billion yuan in October 2015. On January 24, 2018, The CSL and CSM reached an agreement to extend the original five-year contract to a 10-year one(2016–2025) and to raise the price to 11 billion yuan, about 1.73 billion dollars according to the exchange rate then prevailing. [32] [33]

Worldwide

Outside of China, currently IMG holds the global media rights to the Chinese Super League. The first contract was signed in 2016 for two seasons, [34] and in 2018 IMG and CSM has sealed a three-year extension. [35] The CSL is now broadcasting in 96 countries across the world. [36]

2018-2020

Country/RegionNetwork
Flag of Austria.svg Austria DACH DAZN
Flag of Germany.svg Germany DACH
Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland DACH
Balkan countries
  • Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Flag of Croatia.svg Croatia
  • Flag of Montenegro.svg Montenegro
  • Flag of North Macedonia.svg North Macedonia
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Serbia
  • Flag of Slovenia.svg Slovenia
SportKlub
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia Sports Flick
Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil ESPN
Flag of the United States.svg United States
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada OneSoccer
Eurasia countries
  • Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia
  • Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijan
  • Flag of Belarus.svg Belarus
  • Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia
  • Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Kazakhstan
  • Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg Kyrgyzstan
  • Flag of Latvia.svg Latvia
  • Flag of Lithuania.svg Lithuania
  • Flag of Moldova.svg Moldova
  • Flag of Tajikistan.svg Tajikistan
  • Flag of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan
  • Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Uzbekistan
Setanta Sports Eurasia
Flag of Georgia.svg Georgia Silknet
Flag of Indonesia.svg Indonesia Mola TV
Flag of East Timor.svg Timor Leste
Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland Premier-Free Sports
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Flag of Israel.svg IsraelSport 1
Flag of Macau.svg Macau TDM
Flag of the Philippines.svg PhilippinesTap Sports
Flag of Poland.svg Poland Polsat Sport
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Sport TV
Flag of Singapore.svg Singapore Singtel
Flag of Turkey.svg TurkeyS Sport
Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria
  • Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa
  • Flag of Kenya.svg Kenya
  • Flag of Ghana.svg Ghana
StarTimes

^DACH - other matches also available on Sportdigital

Reserve league and Elite league

In early years the reserve league was open to all of the reserve teams from the Chinese Super League, China League One, and China League Two clubs. In 2011, the lower leagues started their own reserve league. The CSL reserve league strictly allows CSL clubs to compete, it is played at the next day of the regular league, also in home and away format, since 2018, the reserve league is held in the same venue of the regular league.

From 2014 to 2017, an elite league was held under the reserve league, restricted to players between 17 and 19 years old.

SeasonReserve ChampionsElite Champions
2004 Shanghai Shenhua Not Held
2005Not HeldNot Held
2006 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held
2007 Tianjin Teda Not Held
2008 Wuhan Guanggu Not Held
2009Not HeldNot Held
2010 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held
2011 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held
2012 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held
2013 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held
2014 Shandong Luneng Taishan Shanghai Shenhua
2015 Shandong Luneng Taishan Hangzhou Greentown
2016 Shanghai SIPG Jiangsu Suning
2017 Shandong Luneng Taishan Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
2018 Jiangsu Suning Not Held
2019 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held
2020Not HeldNot Held

Youth development and Youth super league

Since the inception of the CSL, the CFA has required all of its clubs to operate youth development, yet it was not a strict criteria until 2018. In the CSL club criteria created in 2017, clubs who could not meet the youth development programme criteria will be relegated to lower leagues.

According to the CSL club criteria, the youth teams of CSL clubs must have their own training center, coaching staff, and medical group, and a minimum of 15% of club budgets must be invested into youth programmes. CSL clubs are required to have 5 youth level teams at ages U19, U17, U15, U14 and U13. Clubs must have youth academies and introduce grassroots football plans to cooperate with local football associations, school and social corporations.

In 2017 the Youth League system was officially rebranded as Youth Super League. YSL is open to all the youth teams of all professional clubs, selected football academies and local FA training teams in China. Since 2018 the U19 Youth Super league is played with two groups of 18, a total of 36 clubs. Clubs plays home and away season with promotion and relegation introduced. The U17 and U15 Youth Super Leagues play in six regional leagues with 76 and 77 teams respectively. The U14 and U13 Youth Super leagues play in five regional leagues with 40 and 45 teams respectively. [37]

Besides the Youth Super League, there are also other tournaments for youth teams across China, including Youth Championship plays in pre-season, Youth FA cup runs during the Youth Super League fixture, and Youth Champions Cup plays in off-season.

SeasonU-19/19A ChampionsU-19B ChampionsU-19C ChampionsU-18 ChampionsU-17 ChampionsU-16 ChampionsU-15 ChampionsU-14 ChampionsU-13 Champions
2004 [38] Shanghai Shenhua Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot Held
2005 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot Held
2006 Beijing Guoan Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot Held
2007 Chongqing Lifan Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot Held
2008 Beijing Guoan Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Changchun Yatai Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot Held
2009 Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Changchun Yatai Not HeldWuhan FANot HeldNot Held
2010Not HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldShanghai LuckystarNot HeldNot Held
2011 [39] Beijing Guoan Not HeldNot HeldNot HeldShanghai FANot HeldHubei FANot HeldShanghai Genbao
2012 [40] Jiangsu FANot HeldNot HeldNot HeldLiaoning FANot HeldGuangzhou FANot HeldShanghai Genbao
2013 Henan Jianye Not HeldNot HeldNot HeldJiangsu FANot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldNot Held
2014 Shanghai Shenhua Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Guangzhou R&F Not Held Henan Jianye Shanghai GenbaoNot Held
2015Not HeldNot HeldNot HeldGuangdong FANot HeldJiangsu FA Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan
2016Shaanxi FANot HeldNot HeldNot HeldJiangsu FANot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Shandong Luneng Taishan Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
2017 [41] Not HeldNot HeldNot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Shandong Luneng Taishan Changchun Yatai Shandong Luneng Taishan
2018 Shanghai SIPG Evergrande Football School Not HeldNot Held Shanghai Greenland Shenhua Not HeldHubei FA Shandong Luneng Taishan Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
2019 Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Shanghai Greenland Shenhua Fujian FANot Held Shandong Luneng Taishan Not HeldShandong FAShandong FAShandong FA
2020Not HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot HeldNot Held

See also

Notes

  1. 1852 games ended up with a draw, resulting up with 3,704 points

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The National Football Jia A League (simplified Chinese, commonly known as Jia-A, was the highest tier of professional football in the People's Republic of China, during 1994 through 2003, operating under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association.

The 2011 Chinese Super League was the eighth season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League, the eighteenth season of a professional association football league and the 50th top-tier league season in China. Guangzhou Evergrande F.C. clinched their first ever Chinese Super League title on September 28, 2011.

The 2012 Chinese Super League was the ninth season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League, the nineteenth season of a professional football league and the 51st top-tier league season in China. It began on March 10, 2012 and ended on November 3, 2012.

The 2013 Chinese Super League was the tenth season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League, the 20th season of a professional football league and the 52nd top-tier league season in China. Guangzhou Evergrande won their third consecutive title with an 18-point advantage ahead of runners-up Shandong Luneng.

The 2015 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League was the 12th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League, the 22nd season of a professional Association football league and the 54th top-tier league season in China. The league title sponsor was Ping An Insurance. Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao won their fifth consecutive title of the league.

The 2016 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League was the 13th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League. The league title sponsor was Ping An Insurance. Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao won their sixth consecutive title of the league.

Yanjing Beer 2016 Chinese FA Cup was the 18th edition of the Chinese FA Cup and the 60th anniversary of the Chinese National Cup. Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao beat the defending champions Jiangsu Suning on away goals in the final to win their second title.

The 2017 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League was the 14th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League. The league title sponsor is Ping An Insurance. Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao won their seventh consecutive title of the league.

2017 Chinese FA Super Cup Football match

Chang'an Ford 2017 Chinese FA Super Cup was the 15th Chinese FA Super Cup, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Chinese Super League and FA Cup competitions. The match was played at Chongqing Olympic Sports Center on 25 February 2017, and contested by league and cup double winners Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao and league runners-up Jiangsu Suning. Guangzhou Evergrande won the match 1–0 with a goal from Alan Carvalho. It was Guangzhou Evergrande's third outright victory in the Chinese FA Super Cup, drawing level with Dalian Shide and Shanghai Shenhua.

Deng Hanwen is a Chinese footballer who currently plays for Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League.

The 2018 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League was the 15th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League. The league title sponsor was Ping An Insurance. Shanghai SIPG won their first top-tier league titles on 7 November 2018 after the 2–1 victory against Beijing Renhe, ending a historic run for Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, who had won seven consecutive titles beginning with the 2011 season.

Weshare Wealth 2018 Chinese FA Super Cup was the 16th Chinese FA Super Cup, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Chinese Super League and FA Cup competitions. It was held at Hongkou Football Stadium on 26 February 2018. The match was played between Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, champions of the 2017 Chinese Super League, and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the winner of the 2017 Chinese FA Cup. Policy of foreign players and U-23 domestic players was executed for the first time in the tournament. At most three foreign players can play in the match while at least one domestic player who is under the age of 23 must be in the starting eleven; The total number of foreign players must be no more than the total number of U-23 domestic players in the match.

The 2019 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League was the 16th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League. The league title sponsor was Ping An Insurance. The season began on 1 March and ended on 1 December. Shanghai SIPG were the defending champions.

The 2019 Shenzhen F.C. season is Shenzhen F.C.'s 1st consecutive season in the Chinese Super League ever since it started back in the 2004 season and 1st consecutive season in the top flight of Chinese football. This season Shenzhen F.C. participates in the Chinese Super League and Chinese FA Cup.

The 2020 Chinese Super League, officially known as the 2020 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League for sponsorship reasons, was the 17th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League. The league title sponsor is Ping An Insurance. The season was scheduled to begin on 22 February and to end on 31 October, but was postponed following the COVID-19 pandemic. On 1 July 2020, Chinese Football Association announced that the season would be split into two stages. In the first stage, which began on 25 July 2020 and concluded on 29 September 2020, 16 teams were split into two groups in two locations, one in Dalian and the other in Suzhou. On 2 September 2020, Chinese Football Association announced that the second stage would begin on 16 October 2020 and conclude on 12 November 2020. Jiangsu Suning F.C. beat defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2-1 on aggregate in the finals to win their first-ever top-tier league title. However, three months later, Jiangsu F.C. was dissolved. As a result, the 4th-ranked team Shanghai SIPG gained the place to compete in 2021 AFC Champions League along with Guangzhou F.C. and Beijing Guoan, while Shijiazhuang Ever Bright escaped relegation.

The 2020 Chinese Football Association Cup, officially known as the Yanjing Beer 2020 Chinese FA Cup for sponsorship reasons, was the 22nd edition of the Chinese FA Cup. It was postponed following the COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China. On 2 September 2020, Chinese Football Association announced that Chinese FA Cup would resume on 18 September 2020.

2020 Chinese FA Super Cup was the 18th Chinese FA Super Cup, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Chinese Super League and FA Cup competitions. The match was scheduled to be played between Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, champions of the 2019 Chinese Super League, and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the winner of the 2019 Chinese FA Cup on 5 February 2020. On 25 January 2020, the match was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Chinese Super League, officially known as the 2021 Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League for sponsorship reasons, is the 18th season since the establishment of the Chinese Super League. The league title sponsor is Ping An Insurance.

The 2003–2009 Chinese football match-fixing scandals were revealed by a large-scale 2009–2013 investigation of football betting, bribery and match-fixing. The scandals were first made public in October 2009. Instead of being led by General Administration of Sport of China or Chinese Football Association like previous investigations, this investigation was led by the Ministry of Public Security. Xie Yalong, Nan Yong and Yang Yimin, who are all former vice presidents of Chinese Football Association, along with Zhang Jianqiang and some other CFA officials were arrested and removed from their posts. Shanghai Shenhua F.C. was stripped of their 2003 Chinese Jia-A League title. Lu Jun, the only Chinese referee in the history of FIFA World Cup, and China national football team players Shen Si, Jiang Jin, Qi Hong, Li Ming, were arrested and sentenced to 5.5 years or 6 years in jail.

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