A total of 13 Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs including John Mikel Obi’s Tianjin TEDA, could be forced to forfeit their participation next season, after failing to pay their players properly.
The clubs in question have been told they must settle their arrears by August 15 and send proof to the Chinese Football Association (CFA) or face being denied entry to the league.
Super League: Shanghai Shenhua, Shanghai SIPG, Beijing Guoan, Changchun Yatai, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, Hebei China Fortune, Guangzhou Evergrande, Guangzhou R&F, Jiangsu Suning, Liaoning Whowin, Shandong Luneng Taishan, Tianjin Quanjian, Tianjin TEDA.
League One: Beijing Renhe, Dalian Transcendence, Shanghai Shenxin, Shijiazhuang Ever Bright.
League Two: Qingdao Jonoon.
The teams were named in a July 11 correspondence between the CFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Five lower league sides have also been accused of failing to pay some of their players’ salaries and bonuses.
Of the 16 top tier sides, only Yanbian Fude, Henan Jianye and Guizhou Hengfeng have no unmet financial obligations.
This controversy comes six months after the Chinese government moved to intervene in club spending.