Well, that didn’t take long did it?
According to reports in the Mirror, 13 clubs in the Chinese Super League could be forced to forfeit their participation in the competition next season, after failing to pay their players wages.
However, in a league that consists of 16 teams, this could have serious consequences on the future of the CSL experiment.
The clubs under investigation include Luiz Felipe Scolari’s title-holders Guangzhou Evergrande, Carlos Tevez’s Shanghai Shenhua and big-spending Shanghai SIPG – where the likes of Oscar, Hulk and Ricardo Carvalho play under the guidance of Andres Villas-Boas.
All 13 clubs have until August 15 “to settle their arrears” or face being denied entry to the league next season.
However, conflicting reports states the report could be “over-exaggerated”, with many leading clubs playing down the story.
SIPG released a statement saying: “After verification, we’ve already paid the arrears in full in October last year and we’ve sent the related certificates to CFA.
“We hereby certify that our club doesn’t have any arrears problem.”
And the Shenhua press office said: “We received the notice from CFA this morning.
“Our only problem lies in fees of joint compensation mechanism.
“It has nothing to do with the unpaid salaries and bonuses.”
Even so, concerns over excessive spending and debt in the CSL continue this season, following multiple high-profile arrivals, with Chinese government looking to intervene in club spending.
The country’s top sports governing body accused teams of “burning money” on foreign players instead of investing in youth development.
Considering Tevez earns an estimated £615,000 a week, we think they’ve got a point.
Whatever happens, it looks like the period of selling rubbish players to China for unfathomable prices is coming to an end.
Which is a shame, because Diego Costa really wanted to see out his life-long dream of leading the line for Tianjin Quanjian.