CSL clubs approached the transfer window cautiously due to the new 100% transfer tax for foreign players – and the lack of detail surrounding it. But clubs are continuing to look for loopholes and that, coupled with Wanda’s return to Chinese football, could spark a return to spending in the summer.[This has been updated following further clarification from the BBC’s Piers Edwards to reflect that Beijing Guoan received a 15% discount on the Bakambu transfer tax, not 20% as originally stated.]
Even casual followers of Chinese football will be aware that things don’t operate in a normal manner over in this part of the world. Which other league in the world, for example, would tolerate a change in the number of foreign players allowed per team *in the middle* of a transfer window, as has happened in the recent past?
But the events of the past few days rank right up there in the head-scratching history of the Chinese Super League (CSL) and – once again – could have profound implications for the global transfer market.
First, a quick recap…