China’s Football Association will introduce salary caps for top players from January 1, in a move that could dampen the country’s allure for foreign talent.
Chinese nationals playing in the top-tier Chinese Super League will have their annual salaries capped at five million yuan ($764,000) before tax, while foreigners can be paid a maximum of three million euros ($3.65 million), the CFA said in a statement Monday.
It said the move was aimed at “curbing ‘money football’ and an investment bubble.”
Salary caps will also be for China League One and China League Two players.
The caps are the latest effort in recent years to rein in spending among Chinese clubs after a series of well-known foreign stars moved to the country on eye-watering contracts.
Brazilian attacking midfielder Oscar joined CSL side Shanghai SIPG in January 2017 for an Asian-record 60 million euros on what were reportedly some of the highest wages in football.
Argentine striker Carlos Tevez was also lured over in the same transfer window on a reported world-leading 730,000 euros a week
CFA president Chen Xuyuan told state news agency Xinhua on Monday that “the CSL club expenditure is about 10 times higher than South Korea’s K-League and three times higher than Japan’s J-league.”
“But our national team is lagging far behind,” Chen said.