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FM16: The Chinese Super League Thread

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The Chinese Super League thread

Welcome to the thread dedicated to the Chinese Super League! Recently we've seen teams from this league really splash the cash on some big names from major leagues in Europe and South America, so you could find a surprising amount of familiarity despite the many changes this league has to offer from your standard fare! If you're looking for a departure from the norm, but still want to be able to spend to your heart's content, well, maybe this league is just the one for you!

What's covered in the thread:

  • A brief about the league, with some history and facts
  • Along those lines, the rules and structure of the league itself
  • The Super League teams themselves, sorted by media prediction and analyzed
  • A quick glance at some of the teams in China's First Division

If there are any mistakes in the following posts, let me know; I'm not exactly an expert on the league, so if you see something, give me a shout and I'll try to fix it!

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Professional football in China only began in 1994, with the Chinese Jia-A League. Ten years later, its current incarnation was founded with 12 teams in the league. The Super League endured a rocky start, with low interest harmed further by scandals involving gambling and match fixing. However, the league quickly expanded to 16 teams by 2008, railed against the corruption and put those scandals to a halt, and boosted their attendance numbers, with a 16.8% increase this past season signifying how quickly the league is growing (of course, with all these recent transfers it's sure to keep skyrocketing!).

Perhaps surprisingly, only 4 teams have played in Super League every year, and the superpowered Guangzhou Evergrande isn't one of them! Beijing Guoan (1 title, 3 runner-ups), Shandong Luneng Taishan (3 titles, 2 runner-ups), Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (3 runner-ups), and Tianjin Teda (1 runner-up) are the 'fearsome four,' and a fifth (Beijing Renhe, best finish 3rd in 2004) just got relegated. Meanwhile, we have two newcomers to the league this 2016 season (Yanbian Funde and Hebei CFFC), and last season saw the debut of Shijiazhuang Ever Bright F.C., so the range of history in this young league is already quite wide!

NOTE: I'm writing this guide with an eye towards the highly anticipated 2016 season, and I highly recommend, if you're going to start a save now in the Super League, downloading an update pack with the promotions/relegations as well as all the transfers that have taken place (something like pr0's set of updates, perhaps. Side note, I'm not using any CA/PA alterations in this guide, though some of these packs do have them). Much of this information crosses over to playing a 2015 version of the Super League, but with names like Gervinho and Ramires making their way to China recently it's a much more dynamic league, especially with a couple teams adding key players to aid in the fight to knock Guangzhou off their pedestal!

Now, as for the rules...

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The season usually takes place from February/March to around November, making the January transfer window your prime buying season. You have a relatively limited amount of domestic transfers per window, but foreign transfers are unlimited... until you consider the league's squad restrictions.

A maximum of 5 foreign players, 4 from other continents and a fifth from Asia (with one less of each in the starting lineup), and the requirement of a Chinese goalkeeper means that youth development will be the key to a great long-term save in the emerging Super League. The facilities of the teams range from bare bones to merely "good," but the good news is that a lot of these teams have money to burn for facility development. In fact, I believe there isn't a single club in the top two divisions with any legitimate outstanding debt, nearly an impossibility in Europe!

Other rules to note in the Super League:

  • Relatively short seasons, with only 30 games played in the league itself before factoring in the domestic cup, int'l play, etc.
  • The main tiebreaker in the standings is head-to-head results, rather than goal differential.
  • At least the top 4 in the standings will qualify for the Asian Champions League, and the bottom two teams will get relegated.
  • The booking suspensions are relatively strict, with a game suspension for every 4 yellows and a harsh uptick in suspension time for each successive red card. Keep the aggression to a minimum is the message here!

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The Super League teams are sorted below by 2016 season media predictions. (A) denotes an Asian foreigner. I may be off on some of these foreigners, as there might be some transfers in or out I've missed (I'm trying to stay close to the rosters for this upcoming 2016 season and as such included those major transfers). In this section especially, let me know if there are any issues or mistakes, and I'll work to correct them!

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1. Guangzhou (5-2) ~ Tianhe Stadium (58,500 capacity)

--Foreigners: Jackson Martinez, Ricardo Goulart, Paulinho, Alan, Rene Junior, Kim Young-Gwon (A), Alessandro Diamanti (loaned to Atalanta)

Guangzhou are the league giants for a reason. First of all... those foreigners. Prize signing Jackson Martinez joins an already stellar cast including Brazilian international Paulinho, and just by virtue of that talent you should be set for a winning ride. But wait, there's more! You obviously have a very high budget to strengthen your squad (helped in part that they recently sold leading striker Elkeson "for national glory," a very FM move if I've seen one), and it's already a team that's got quality. Elder statesman Zheng Zhi is a solid deep-lying playmaker, Yu Hanchao and Gao Lin give you talent on the wings, and younger players like Li Yuanyi and Wang Shanyuan give you a bright future domestically as well. If you want to start your save on top, well, you know this team is for you.

2. Shandong (20-1) ~ Ji'nan Olympic Sports Centre Stadium (56,808 capacity)

--Foreigners: Gil, Diego Tardelli, Walter Montillo, Aloisio, Jucilei, Junior Urso (loaned to Atletico Mineiro)

The only team in the league with a facility rated better than good (with superb training facilities), second to Guangzhou in Super League titles (with 3), and basically a Brazilian hub (with 5 Brazilians on the squad)... Shandong is up here in the prediction for a reason. Your best player, newly acquired Gil, will be a nightmare for opponents at centre back, and you can put Jucilei in front of him for even more solidity. Diego Tardelli can be moved around the attack, Walter Montillo provides a spark from the midfield, and you actually have a solid domestic striker in target man Yang Xu. Wang Dalei in net will be very good, too. Watch for the growth of left winger Liu Binbin and defender Li Songyi, too. Add in a hefty transfer budget out of the gate, and you can make this team a title-winner very quickly.

3. Shanggang (a.k.a. Shanghai SIPG; 33-1) ~ Shanghai Stadium (56,842 capacity)

--Foreigners: Elkeson, Asamoah Gyan, Dario Conca, Jean Kouassi, Kim Ju-Young (A), Davi

2015's runners-up have had a meteoric rise, given that they made their Super League debut in 2013 and were in the third tier as recently as 2007. They're only looking better this year, too, especially after bagging prized striker/AMC Elkeson from Guangzhou. At 26, he'll be the centerpiece of your team for years to come, and Argentinian playmaker Dario Conca has more than enough creativity to set Elkeson up for many, many goals. There's talent elsewhere, too: at 24 years old Wu Lei can be a fixture either on the right wing or even as a trequartista for years, and Cai Huikang will anchor your midfield well. Yan Junling is a very solid keeper who should serve you well too. Shanggang makes for a very solid save right out of the gate, one where you can immediately compete with the best.

4. Beijing (33-1) ~ Workers' Stadium (66,161 capacity)

--Foreigners: Renato Augusto, Burak Yilmaz, Ralf, Kleber, Yegor Krimets (loaned from Paxtakor)

The largest team in Beijing has a solid pedigree to go with it, with one title in 2009 and three 2nd place finishes in the Super League. They too shelled out some change in the transfer window, with their major move being the incoming playmaker Renato Augusto from Corinthians. Your internationals are pretty solid, and luckily, your domestic talent is superb as well. Zhang Xizhe (just signed from Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga) is a stud AMC, while Yu Dabao and Zhang Chengdong provide wing support. You've got a very well-rounded and scary attack without a doubt, with a solid midfield to boot, and Yang Zhi guarding the goal is solid too (albeit at 33 years old). Your defense could use a bit of work quite possibly, but beyond that, this is a squad that can challenge for the Champions League spots from day one.

5. Shenhua (33-1) ~ Hongkou Football Stadium (33,060 capacity)

--Foreigners: Fredy Guarin, Demba Ba, Obafemi Martins, Giovanni Moreno, Paulo Henrique, Stoppila Sunzu (loaned to LOSC Lille), Mohamed Sissoko, Avraam Papadopoulos

Classic example of a Super League team led by their international stars, but what a collective of them they own. Mohamed Sissoko and Paulo Henrique are two examples of great foreigners... in your reserves! In your squad are Demba Ba, complete forward Obafemi Martins, and Fredy Guarin, the first and last players here very recently acquired for 13 million euros each. Hopefully they can carry you far early on, because frankly, there's not too much other talent. You have a little money to play with, especially by offloading some of the foreigners that won't make it into your squad, and you'll surely need to use it to really compete near the top.

6. Jiangsu (40-1) ~ Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre (61,443 capacity)

--Foreigners: Alex Teixeira, Ramires, Jô, Sammir, Trent Sainsbury (A), Sergio Escudero (A, though he isn't showing up on the patch?), Edison Toloza (loaned to Junior)

Generally a middling team throughout their existence, Jiangsu is doing their damndest to change that now. They already had some decent foreigners in the Croatian AMC Sammir and Japanese attacker Sergio Escudero, but they've more than outdone themselves with a few HUGE signings. Ramires from Chelsea is the biggest name and an immediate star in your midfield, but you might find your superstar to be the 50 million euro man Alex Teixeira, who can play all over but makes his home best as a killer playmaker at AMC (imagine a Teixeira/Sammir pairing at AMC! Playmaking for days!). Trent Sainsbury is a sneaky good signing as well, who can anchor your defense and has room to grow, Wu Xi can pair beautifully with Ramires in the center of your midfield, and Li Ang has some potential at CD as well. You're a little strapped for depth (the media prediction obviously stems from the overseas talent Jiangsu have brought in), but you still have a little money to play with. This is a great project if you want to build up a relatively average/below-average team around a superstar core.

7. Fuli (40-1) ~ Yuexiushan Stadium (20,000 capacity)

--Foreigners: Bruninho, Renatinho, Aaron Samuel (loaned to CSKA Moscow), Michel (loaned to Real Oviedo), Jang Hyun-Soo (A), Gustav Svensson, Jeremy Bokila (loaned to Eskisehirspor)

This Guangzhou side are looking to improve after finishing two points above relegation last time out, and with signings like the two inho's they've definitely done so. As a result, these little brothers to the league champs can definitely put up a fight now. Bruninho is a great striker (along with Samuel or Bokila as a partnership when they return from loan), while Renatinho, Chang Feiya, and Jiang Zhipeng give you more attacking options just behind. Zhipeng can drop back to play with Tang Miao and Jang Hyun-Soo as well. The team has a lot of solid players with a bit of room for potential growth (Jin Yangyang at CD comes to mind) and for transfer spending as well. If you make enough money to sign a legitimate star or two a la Jiangsu, this team could fly.

8. Huaxia Xingfu (a.k.a. Hebei; 50-1) ~ Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre (35,000 capacity)

--Foreigners: Gervinho, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Stephane Mbia, Gael Kakuta, Ersan Gulum

Hebei China Fortune is making their debut in the Super League after being founded in 2010, and boy have they already made a hell of an entrance. They splashed the cash on some domestic products as well, but the focus is rightfully on the foreigners they've brought in: Stephane Mbia (an anchor wherever you put him, from DC up to MC), Ersan Gulum (another defensive anchor), and how about these guys running rampant on the wings: Gervinho, Ezequiel Lavezzi, and Gael Kakuta? Yeah, I'd want to use this team too. The fun doesn't stop there, though: they still have budget left over, and while your depth is, quite frankly, atrocious, you have a bright spot or two elsewhere in your lineup. Yang Cheng is a decent enough goalkeeper, and Du Wei provides a solid partner for one of your internationals for a year or two at centre back. If you can use the money this squad hasn't made rain to bolster the rest of your lineup and make some smart moves to add some much-needed depth to this squad, you could exceed this midtable expectation for sure!

9. Tianjin (80-1) ~ Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium 'Water Drop' (60,000 capacity)

--Foreigners: Fredy Montero, Zainadine Junior, Wagner, Wilmar Gil, Mbaye Diagne, Aleksandar Jovanovic (A)

A team that's only been relegated from the top tier twice since 1957, yet has only placed in the top two once in the professional age of Chinese football, it's up to you to begin a new, more dominant chapter in Tianjin's lore. The very recent pickups of Freddy Montero from Sporting in Portugal (for a cool 5 mil in Euros) and Mbaye Diagne from Hungary will surely help! You have an average bit of depth and quality to contend with, and given your foreign talent that's all right. DM Guo Hao and netminder Du Jia highlight a handful of younger guys with bright futures as well. Oh yeah, and you have a big, big transfer budget to use to your advantage, and I definitely suggest you do so. If you can do well in your first season, you can definitely build this team.

10. Henan (100-1) ~ Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium (29,860 capacity)

--Foreigners: Javier Patino (A), Eddi Gomes, Ivo, Mateusz Zachara, Osman Sow, Ryan McGowan (A)

A solid selection of foreigners greets you at Henan, and with all of them ranging from 25-39 in age, they should last you a decent span of time if you want to keep them around. This includes complete forward Patino, the well-balanced AMC/AML Ivo, and Eddi Gomes, who is an absolute beast of a man (6' 5" CD with 17 in pace and strength? Marking and tackling at 15/16? Yes please!). Your current depth lags a little bit behind the foreigners, but worry not, because there is definitely talent. Mirahmetjan Muzepper begins the save highly sought-after, so it's up to you whether you want to try to hold him or cash in. Elsewhere, young winger Du Changjie and DM/MC Yang Kuo provide bright futures as well, and you've got the budget to strengthen your squad from the get-go since the team hasn't spent much this offseason. Henan was traditionally a second-tier squad up until their promotion for the 2007 season, but they're a team on the rise now. A very solid midtable start for your save, and one of my higher recommendations.

11. Changchun (100-1) ~ Development Area Stadium (25,000 capacity)

--Foreigners: Marcelo Moreno, Aboubakar Oumarou, Anzur Ismoilov, Darko Matic

Yes, Marcelo Moreno is worth quite a sum of money for a team down here in the prediction. Yes, he is a fantastic target man. Yes, you can try to sell him for a load of cash and maybe stick Oumarou up top instead. There's good stuff elsewhere, too, with a couple players to keep an eye on, namely DC Sun Jie and DC/DM Pei Shuai, and a solid budget right off the bat. The flip side, though, is that you could definitely afford to use the budget. Your midfield especially needs some shoring up depending on the formation you utilize, and while you have a solid centre back pairing, there isn't much in the way of GK quality behind them. Changchun was a consistent force in the latter half of last decade, with a Super League title in 2007 and a runner-up trophy in '09, but haven't done much since. Bring them back to their A-game.

12. Hangzhou (100-1) ~ Huanglong Sports Centre (52,672 capacity)

--Foreigners: Anselmo Ramon, Oh Beom-Seok (A), Tim Cahill, Matthew Spiranovic (A), David Claude Angan, Imed Louati

As you'd expect from a team down here in the prediction, your talent comes from your foreigners. 26 year-old Anselmo Ramon makes a great target man to spearhead your attack, there's some defense from Spiranovic and Beom-Seok, and everyone's favorite Aussie Tim Cahill is here to provide playmaking at AMC. You have a few 22 year-old prospects, most notably Luo Jing, but when it comes to current ability the team is slightly lacking. David Claude Angan looks like an enigmatic player for sure, with a great pace/strength combination, but beyond dribbling his technicals and mentals are severely lacking. Hangzhou has only finished in the top 7 once in its time in the top division, but there's potential there for you to change that.

13. Chongqing (150-1) ~ Chongqing Olympic Sports Centre (58,680 capacity)

--Foreigners: Emanuel Gigliotti, Jael, Jung Woo-Young (A), Goran Milovic, Fernandinho

Chongqing is a club with a yo-yo existence in the Super League, despite consistent performance in the Jia-A League, so hopefully you can bring some stability to them. You've got a full batch of foreigners to work with, with Gigliotti and Jael both providing target man qualities up front and Goran Milovic being a BEAST of a man at DC (6' 5" with 19 strength, 18 jumping, and 19 balance!)... and a dearth of talent otherwise. You need the money, too, because beyond those foreigners, you're at a severe lack of current ability. Even worse, where the current ability is for the team, that's where all their potentials are, too! This is definitely a little bit of a rebuilding project, because having star strikers galore will only get you so far.

14. Yongchang (a.k.a. Shijiazuang Ever Bright; 150-1) ~ Yutong International Sports Centre (38,500 capacity)

--Foreigners: Ruben Micael, Rondon, Jacob Mulenga, Cho Yong-Hyung (A)

Established in 2011 and making their top tier debut in 2015, things really might seem Ever Bright at first glance for this Hebei-based squad. It looks even better when you take into account their decent budget and their diverse set of foreigners, from the playmaker Ruben Micael to the complete forward Rondon, and Korean central defender Yong-Hyung sitting in your reserves ready for action. Like a few other of the teams below, though, the good news starts to slow down here. Your best youngster in terms of potential is on loan from the Guangzhou giants, and after that you're left with a pretty bare cupboard for prospects. Mediocre players abound for your starting lineup beyond the foreigners, with one or two showing signs of surpassing (or already having surpassed) that barrier, but they're not so old that they'll immediately fall into decline and put you in a rough spot. Still, this isn't the easiest team to pick, but it's surely not the hardest, and it's one you can take to midtable right off the bat.

15. Liaoning (150-1) ~ Panjin Jinxiu Stadium (35,600 capacity)

--Foreigners: James Troisi (A), Assani Lukimya, Ibrahima Toure, Michael Thwaite (A), James Chamanga

A relatively average team, to be honest. A couple of your U19s might have fringe starter potential, your depth is okay, and Yang Shanping makes a decent-quality pairing with Lukimya to solidify your backline. Liaoning has been a highly consistent presence in the top tier since the 1950's, and they carried a ridiculous stretch of 7 titles between 1985 and 1993 to boot, so your goal, of course, is to get back to that golden age of Liaoning football and defy this prediction!

16. Yanbian (200-1) ~ Yanji Sports Centre Stadium (30,000 capacity)

--Foreigners: Kim Seung-Dae (A), Ha Tae-Goon (A), Nikola Petkovic, Yoon Bit-Garam (A), Steve

Yanbian made a few purchases from the K-League, so expect that foreigner tally to grow. Anyways, Yanbian is one of the newbies in the Super League this season (albeit not a newcomer to the top tier of Chinese football by any means), and to be honest this media prediction looks harsh. Kim Seung-Dae and Ha Tae-Goon make a solid strike partnership, and there's a great bit of defensive depth and talent at your disposal right out of the gate. The recent departure of Jailton Paraiba is balanced by the recent influx of Korean talent on the attack, but either way you could use some more firepower in the midfield. Mitigate that concern, though, and a midtable finish should be feasible.

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No team here is too awfully downtrodden on finances. Some have their warchests more stocked than others, of course, but that's nothing good management won't solve! Plus, if you don't like the foreigners on the squad (not only the ones that come in your starting lineup, but the extra foreigners languishing in the reserve squads of many of these teams), you can try to sell them to get some budget space. Definitely look over all your options and stay flexible in case someone who could push you over the top hits the market!

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Now, maybe you want a bit more of a challenge. Maybe you want to try to climb the ladder a bit before asserting your presence in the big-time. Well, lucky for you, the Chinese First Division might just have what you're looking for! There's still a good bit of money in the league (how else would Hebei be able to spend like they have before they even played a game in the Super League?), but there's definitely a noticeable gap between the two divisions. Still, we have everything from newcomers to the scene to former Super League champions in the First Division, so let's highlight a couple of them in case you want to start down there.

Shenzhen FC

When professional football started in China, Shenzhen was founded and began in the third tier. However, with two consecutive promotions they immediately made it to the top division. When the Jia-A League became the Super League, Shenzhen was there to capture the first Super League title (and in the process became the first team to win the top three tiers of Chinese football). However, they were in the midst of financial issues, and since that magical 2004 season they haven't finished in the top ten of the Super League, getting relegated in 2011 to add insult to injury. Led by Senegalese international attacker Babacar Gueye, the team is predicted to finish around midtable, and that looks to be about right; beyond your sole international you're a bit lacking on talent (present and future, and especially outside of your attack), and your finances will be tricky to fix (especially in a nation where so many teams are flush with cash). It'll take some work, but you can definitely try to bring this team back to glory once more.

Dalian Yifang

This team was only founded in 2009 (and saw a similar swift rise to the top division like Shenzhen). Instead of winning a title, though, they bought a title-winner: Dalian Shide, the 7-time Jia-A League champ and 2005 Super League winner, had fallen on hard times competitively and financially, and was merged into Dalian A'erbin. While it led them to 5th place finishes in their first two seasons in the Super League, 2014 was less kind, as A'erbin finished 15th and was relegated back down a level. After a third place finish in 2015 though, they're raring to step back up to the big-time, and you've got a solid squad to do it (Zhang Chong in net and Wang Jinxian as a prospect come to mind).

Xianjiang Tianshan Leopard FC

I didn't just pick this team because of the badass leopard logo (though it WAS a part of why...). This squad is located inÜrümqi, the largest city in the west of China. Look at a map, and you'll realize just how far out of the way it is. The team itself has a small bit of local talent along with Bosnian Nusmir Fajic, but there's still a long way to go to get promoted and become a fortress out west. Will you be the one team that's guaranteed to tire out the opposition, be it by your own play or the jetlag?

Dalian Chaoyue

In real life, this team's name is the much cooler Dalian Transcendence. This is one of the two newly promoted teams in 2016, but they've still made a few signings to boost their talent (with Erton Fejzullahu leading the charge). As expected your finances aren't exactly huge, as it's Chaoyue's first time in the second tier, but your squad is actually solid and has a decent future too (Zhang Hongjiang at DM being a prime example).

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Like many other leagues, the lowest playable division in China does in fact have relegation, which means that should you choose to, you can simulate a season and take over one of the two teams newly promoted to the Chinese first division! It might be a hell of a challenge, but it could all be worth it once you finally reach the top!



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Hey nice thread. Just one thing needs fixing up.... Australians are classed as Asian since Australia are part of AFC (Asian Federation). So therefore with squads in China Tim Cahill and Trent Sainsbury and other Aussies are "Asian Foreigners" or whatever you call them.

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May try Shenzhen on my next save. Just have to spend some time thinking about how best to use this £1 transfer budget ;)

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Hey nice thread. Just one thing needs fixing up.... Australians are classed as Asian since Australia are part of AFC (Asian Federation). So therefore with squads in China Tim Cahill and Trent Sainsbury and other Aussies are "Asian Foreigners" or whatever you call them.

Hah, I had a feeling I missed that. Should be corrected now for all the Aussies (and one other guy I'd missed)! Thanks!

Really interesting league! Will be very cool to see where this goes!

It's definitely an interesting league, and with how much noise it's making hopefully this does go somewhere!

May try Shenzhen on my next save. Just have to spend some time thinking about how best to use this £1 transfer budget ;)

I was highly tempted to try Shenzhen for my first save there, for sure, so I had to give them a shout. The prospect of bringing them back to title glory is an alluring one... but those financials though...

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Hey, nice thread! China will be really interesting to play in the last patch this year and in FM17. But I'm still salty as a Corinthians supporter because they bought all of our best players :(

A few signings I see it is missing:

Jiangsu - They also got the brazilian international striker Jô from Al-Shabab.

Beijing - Along with Renato Augusto they also brought the defensive midfielder Ralf from Corinthians.

Tianjin Quanjian - You didn't mention their name in the second division but they have a sugar daddy ready to pump money and also brought three nice brazilian players. Jadson from Corinthians, Luis Fabiano from São Paulo and Geuvânio from Santos.

Another good player in the second tier is Biro-Biro, now on Shanghai Shenxin. And Lavezzi is coming to a unnamed chinese team.

Right now I'm trying a save with Tianjin Quanjian, they also brought a few good chinese players like the goalkeeper Zhang Lu from Liaoning and the winger Sun Ke from Jiangsu.

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I've been living in China for the past couple of seasons. I'm about 30 minutes from Hangzhou but i've managed to catch a few Shenhua games. Looking forward to next season, especially if they get Lavezzi. Tickets are so cheap for football here!

Anyway, although this league has a lot of money the standard of Chinese football is very, very poor. If it was a five aside league it would probably be the best league in the world but they need some international coaching over here because the way they play is SO different even at amateur level.

I actually started a save as Shenhua a short while back but couldn't really get into it but i might try again when the patch is out as they have Guarin and hopefully Lavezzi!

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@HaphazardHawlucha: Good stuff and very intriguing given the money that is being thrown around at the moment.

Does anyone know of face/kit/badge packs for the Chinese/Asian Leagues, without having to download the huge monster megapack?

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Hey, nice thread! China will be really interesting to play in the last patch this year and in FM17. But I'm still salty as a Corinthians supporter because they bought all of our best players :(

A few signings I see it is missing:

Jiangsu - They also got the brazilian international striker Jô from Al-Shabab.

Beijing - Along with Renato Augusto they also brought the defensive midfielder Ralf from Corinthians.

Tianjin Quanjian - You didn't mention their name in the second division but they have a sugar daddy ready to pump money and also brought three nice brazilian players. Jadson from Corinthians, Luis Fabiano from São Paulo and Geuvânio from Santos.

Another good player in the second tier is Biro-Biro, now on Shanghai Shenxin. And Lavezzi is coming to a unnamed chinese team.

Right now I'm trying a save with Tianjin Quanjian, they also brought a few good chinese players like the goalkeeper Zhang Lu from Liaoning and the winger Sun Ke from Jiangsu.

I watched a Corinthians game when they came over here to the States last month; even if it was just an exhibition, they did look like they were missing Renato Augusto and Ralf for sure. :( Updated the OP with the Jiangsu and Beijing signings, thanks! Lavezzi apparently is headed to Hebei, which just makes them look even more fun to use! Gervinho, Kakuta, Mbia, and now Lavezzi is a pretty unreal core!

I noticed that Quanjian is really shelling out a lot of cash, yeah! They're making a huge push for promotion, that's for sure. That Sun Ke transfer is in the game, too, which almost made me start a save with Jiangsu just for that windfall to be able to use to boost the squad further. I've decided to start a save with Henan, but we'll see if my attention gets drawn elsewhere!

I've been living in China for the past couple of seasons. I'm about 30 minutes from Hangzhou but i've managed to catch a few Shenhua games. Looking forward to next season, especially if they get Lavezzi. Tickets are so cheap for football here!

Anyway, although this league has a lot of money the standard of Chinese football is very, very poor. If it was a five aside league it would probably be the best league in the world but they need some international coaching over here because the way they play is SO different even at amateur level.

I actually started a save as Shenhua a short while back but couldn't really get into it but i might try again when the patch is out as they have Guarin and hopefully Lavezzi!

Oh, that's pretty neat! What's the atmosphere like at the games? I'd hope the fans are getting more and more passionate as the league keeps growing... sorry about Lavezzi though! Looks like he's headed to Hebei instead.

That's what makes the league really interesting from a FM standpoint; you not only have to maximize your output from the foreigners you get, but develop the domestic talent to a point where the rest of your lineup can compete as well. It'd make for an interesting club and country save, I bet.

@HaphazardHawlucha: Good stuff and very intriguing given the money that is being thrown around at the moment.

Does anyone know of face/kit/badge packs for the Chinese/Asian Leagues, without having to download the huge monster megapack?

Thanks! That kind of money is what got me interested in the league and making the guide in the first place, figured other people would feel the same. Don't know of any packs though, sorry.

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Great thread. I was thinking of increasing the league reputation with the editor so the league can attract a few more bigger names, what would you recommend?

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it is going to be interesting to see how the Chinese clubs transfer budgets looks like with the upcoming patch/update and what kind of players they are able to attract - and how many they will buy

must be hell trying to get that balanced, so they will buy more and more expensive non-Chinese players, but not buy the world - and prevent the Chinese clubs to stock up foreign players that they cannot registrate due to the limits of foreign players in their squads

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it is going to be interesting to see how the Chinese clubs transfer budgets looks like with the upcoming patch/update and what kind of players they are able to attract - and how many they will buy

must be hell trying to get that balanced, so they will buy more and more expensive non-Chinese players, but not buy the world - and prevent the Chinese clubs to stock up foreign players that they cannot registrate due to the limits of foreign players in their squads

They have said it may actually take until the next version of the game rather than the next update to get this right, It will take a lot of time to get the balance right and releasing a version that just ruins the game by them buying and buying and then being stuck with players would be the worst thing to do just to get it on the next patch

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The transfer window ends next 25th and a few nice transfers happened this past few days, but I think nothing major will happen until the end. Can' wait for the 16.3.

Shenhua got Oba Oba Martins, Guoan got Burak Yilmaz, Renhe got Nikica Jelavic. Tim Cahill went to Hangzhou Greentown.

Hebei with Lavezzi, Kakuta and Gervinho will be really cool to try.

I hope they find a way do make the league fun to play and mess with it. When I tried to play with Quanjian, not a single famous player accepted to talk even with the team having an absurd wage budget. I think a guy like Adebayor as a free agent would be willing to at least listen to my offer, I think he would play in China for £100-200k a week.

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Just checked on the update, it seems they gave the super league a rep boost to 100 and have given Jiangsu, shanggang and Huaxia Xingfu all foreground sugar daddies. Xingfu look like a good challenge as they are in the first division and have a very good squad.

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One question: It says "A maximum of 5 foreign players, 4 from other continents and a fifth from Asia (with one less of each in the starting lineup)"... Then why does certain teams have up to 7 foreigners in the squad?

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◾Each team is allowed five foreign players, including one from an Asian Football Confederation country, such as Australia, Japan or Hong Kong.

◾Only four overseas players are allowed on the pitch at the same time.

◾No overseas goalkeepers allowed - to improve home-grown quality.

◾No cap on spending, no maximum wage and no European Financial Fair Play (FFP) equivalent

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35642084

You can have more in the squad, but can't select them all.

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But it still says "Each team is allowed five foreign players, including one from an Asian Football Confederation country, such as Australia, Japan or Hong Kong."... an then that 4 is allowed on the pitch. If they are allowed 5 foreigners, they shouldn't be able to have, say 7, should they? Or am I completely misunderstanding everything? :p

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I'm really not well educated in the Chinese league, and haven't ever looked at it. But I was thinking they mean five in the match day squad, with only four being allowed on the pitch at the same time? That would mean you could have others in your squad, but not in the match day squad. Probably best to wait for somebody with more knowledge than me, as I could easily be wrong :p

I don't know if they have a Chinese cup, but if they do, maybe that and/or any Asian cup might allow them to play different numbers of foreigners. For example, in Switzerland, the foreign player rules are different in the league and cup.

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As far as I can figure out, teams are only allowed 5 foreigners, unless you are participating in the Champions League, Thus allowing you up to 7 foreigners... That maybe why Guangzhou have 7 of them...

Edit: But yeah, may have to wait until someone more knowledgeable comes in.

Or start a chinese save and read the rules :p

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To clarify the above, Jogo is correct. The way to think about it is this: you're allowed 4+1 foreigners in your match day squad, with the +1 coming from a player from an AFC nation. You're allowed 3+1 on the pitch at the same time; that is, one of your foreigners must be on the bench and cannot be subbed on unless another foreigner has come off.

Here are a couple examples from earlier today:

  • Hebei vs. Shanghai SIPG saw Hebei start with 3+1 foreigners in the lineup. Eddi Gomes, Ivo, and Sow along with Patino as their AFC foreigner. When Ryan McGowan was subbed on, they subbed off Sow, thereby keeping them at the 3+1 requirement (technically this made them a 2+2, but that's irrelevant here).
  • Shanghai Shenhua vs. Yanbian was similar. Shenhua's starting lineup featured Ba, Guarin, and Moreno, as well as Kim Kee-Hee from South Korea as their AFC foreigner. When they wanted to bring Obafemi Martins on, they simply subbed off Moreno, making their 3+1 now Ba/Guarin/Martins + Kee-Hee.

It looks like the same applies to the Chinese FA Cup as well: to use the second leg of the finals last year, Shenhua come out with 3+1 and an unused foreign sub on the bench, while Jiangsu had three foreigners in the lineup, plus a fourth and their AFC player on the bench as subs. They subbed on the AFC player by taking off a domestic player, making their lineup a 3+1, but when Sammir came on it was for a foreigner.

As for the AFC Champions League, there was a brief experiment with allowing two extra foreigners in the squads back in 2012, but that was removed a year later. Chinese clubs in the AFCCL have been using pretty much the same number of foreigners as they do domestically.

In general though, it's smart to have more than just the 5 foreigners, at the very least for rotation and player absences. If Alex Teixeira went down with an injury or Ramires had to go play matches for the Brazilian nat'l team, and Jiangsu only had the bare minimum of foreigners signed to the team, then they would be down a key component of the team AND have to replace him with a domestic player (at least on the bench). If they had a spare foreigner, they could still keep their maximum amount of foreigners in the lineup.

--------

I'm going to be going through this weekend and updating the above a little based on the new patch! Shifting teams around in accordance with the media predictions, updating foreigners, peering into the editor for any updated budgets, etc. It'll be interesting to see if there were any major CA/PA bumps for domestic players...

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Thank you for clarifying :)

I look forward to the update, as I plan on starting a save in China at some point.

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Just checked the chinese leagues and noticed that Huaxia Xingfu are still in the 2nd division. I guess with Gervinho, Mbia and Lavezzi around you will tear the league apart.

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Can't you start a year later? I mean, when it's a calendar tournament, don't you get the choice of starting in 2015 or 2016?

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Great thread. I am in 9 games into my first season as manager of Jiangsu and currently lie 4th . Unbeaten in those 9 matches but only won 4 of them . scoring hasn't been a problem but conceding way too many .Squad depth definitely an issue if 1 or 2 injuries . Enjoying it alot so far.

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Sorry to refresh this old thread but I actually do have a problem that fits exactly here.

Playing FMT16 I m managing at Xiangtao and bought a player called Sun Haosheng from Yongchang (a.k.a. Shijiazuang Ever Bright). Now in season 2016 he is unavailable (through pre-season and the first 5 matches and still unavailable) and the game doesn't give me a clue why. Checking Infos IRL didn't tell me anything either.

Does anybody here among Chinese League specialists have an idea?

LINK to my original thread.

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