China is going to bring down the soaring transfer spendings, especially on foreign players, to support the development of local young talents, as the Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced the strongest policy on Wednesday.
"To benefit the healthy and steady development of professional football leagues and curb the irrational spendings on players, those clubs which are in the red should pay the same sums of money as their spendings on buying players to Chinese Football Development Fund and the money will be used for the development of local young players and the promotion of football in China," the Chinese football authority said.
"The new policy will be introduced from the coming summer transfer window," it added.
China has shocked the football world with its phenomenal buying power as the clubs broke the Asian transfer record five times in recent years, and the latest came in January when Shanghai SIPG reportedly paid Chelsea 61 million euros (about 65 million U.S. dollars) for Brazilian midfielder Oscar to link him up with his Brazilian compatriot Hulk.
At the same time, the CFA will implement another more direct policy to help the local young players by forced the clubs to field more U23 players on the pitches.
"From 2018 season, all the top-tier and second division clubs must field local U23 players as many as foreign players in each game," the football governing body said in another statement.
Earlier this year, the CFA had already issued two rules which aimed at cutting the numbers of foreign players allowed in top-tier teams and forcing the teams to give more chance to the home young players.
Under the previous rules, all 16 teams in the Chinese Super League are allowed to sign a maximum of 5 foreign players. All five can be named in the 18-man match-day roster but only 4 can take the field at any one time, and 1 of those players has to be from an Asian association.
This season, the teams can still sign 5 foreign players from anywhere in the world as the 'Asian quota' is abolished, but only 3 can be included on match-day rosters. Meanwhile, two U23 players from each team must be on the rosters and one of them must be in the starting 11.
According to the CFA, the specific measures to implement the two regulations will be announced later.