The answer – China’s football.
A mixture of confusing strategies and gambling induced corruption play their part. Some say that this type of team sport has never been in China’s culture. Whatever the reason, football has never used the forms of catalyst that every other sector has used in China – the Joint Venture.
Why has the world’s sport – by any measure – passed China by?
By combining access to the world’s fastest growing consumer market with a requirement to create state of the art football, China could transform its domestic football.
Backed by its global consumer and media brands it could enable that transformation to have the broadest success, and impact throughout Asia, and ultimately into global football, even into its most protected inner powers in Europe.
A strategic use of the Joint-Venture combined with global strategies, which only China has the necessary multi-level capabilities to integrate into a global impact, would produce a Chinese presence in global and Asian football. It cannot have passed China’s leaders by. I know many of them enjoy football very much.
I think China has focused, like the British, on the sports that they can do well at in the Olympics – a global set of recognised labels.
Germany’s football industry is based in community owned Clubs, and not the business-led models of the British. China will have to draw on its unique features to develop a China model for football. I doubt that China corporates are going to fully satisfy the needs, as, like the British, they do not know the sector well enough.
Enjoy the article that follows, but my experience tells me this is not a question of a simple choice. It requires very experienced people to analyse and plot the route forward, using Joint-Ventures as part of the tool kit, not the tool kit.
You only have to look at the myriad of theories about the England teams failure, and the limited role of English players in the English Premier League, to see that this is a complex subject.
Original Interview conducted 13 July 2014 by sportswriter Wang Zijiang; Editor, Yang Yi: