Chinese Football Club To List

Chinese football club Evergrande Taobao FC is set to become Asia's first listed club, in a move that could bring the kind of corporate credibility Beijing is seeking as part of its long-term reforms of the sport in China.

The club is officially known as Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club Co, the team won the AFC Champions League in 2013 and the Chinese Super League in 2014. It has a 50,000-seat stadium in Guangzhou, China’s third-largest city. Showing how serious they are taking things World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was recruited as manager last month.

The Asian Wealth Times has been regularly reporting on the activity of Asian tycoons in the sporting world, which until now has been mostly taking place in Europe. Among the current Evergrande shareholders is the ubiquitous Jack Ma who paid in excess of US$190 million for an undisclosed stake in the club last year.

Evergrande have applied to list on China's so-called New Third Board for small enterprises the club said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange earlier this week.

In March, the Chinese government announced a far-reaching plan to lift the standard of football and also to transform the sport, which has been ruined by corruption in previous years.

By listing the club it may encourage others around the country to do the same therefore engaging the supporters and improving transparency through full disclosures of the clubs financial dealings.


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