February 13, 2018 / 11:01 AM / 9 months ago

Soccer - Chinese authorities move to plug transfer window loopholes

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese football authorities have threatened to hand out suspensions and huge points deductions in a move to curb attempts to circumvent strict regulations on transfer spending in the Chinese Super League (CSL).

The move comes after several clubs have sought to find a way to avoid paying the 100 percent levy on transfers of foreign players over 45 million yuan ($7.10 million) imposed on clubs last summer after rampant spending in the country’s top flight.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) said clubs, or third parties acting on their behalf, paying the buy-out clauses for overseas players would be deemed to have paid a transfer fee and will be subject to the tax should the amount exceed 45 million yuan.

In addition, clubs who pay loan fees to sign players on a temporary basis will also be hit with the levy should the total sum paid exceed the threshold set last summer.

The move covers the current transfer window, with the CFA reserving the right to investigate transfers conducted last summer.

“Should the CFA be in any doubt regarding a player’s eligibility, the registration of this player will be suspended,” the statement said.

“Anyone can report any suspicious attempts to avoid the transfer adjustment fee. Once the CFA receives these reports and finds them to be true, clubs will be deducted 15 points in the 2018 season.”

The statement could have a significant impact on big spending Tianjin Quanjian, who signed French striker Anthony Modeste from FC Koln in Germany on a two-year loan deal for almost 36 million euro ($44.43 million). The structuring of the deal was seen as a way to avoid paying the levy.

Beijing Guoan have also been involved in a drawn out process over attempts to acquire former Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu.

The Congolese striker paid his 40 million euro release clause to the Spanish club, who announced he was to join Beijing.

Bakambu has been photographed training with Beijing in Portugal but the club have yet to make an official announcement on the matter, despite reports in the Chinese media that he has signed a five-year contract.

Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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