Former super Eagles ace and Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo and some other top players plying their trade in the Chinese Super League (CSL) may check out of the league following a new rule pegging salary of foreign players at £2m a year max.
A host of footballing talents such as Odion Ighalo, Marouane Fellaini, Oscar and Marko Arnautovic were offered the chance to become very high earner in the Chinese Super League. However, a new law will be introduced that limits players to approximately £42k-a-week before tax. This is the first time a salary cap has been implemented for over a decade in the league.
Whilst it does not affect any current contracts, the former stars who moved to Asia will have to take a huge pay cut if they opt to renew their contracts at their respective clubs.
Clubs will also be permitted to acquire a fifth overseas player, an upgrade from the current law which only allows four.
However, only four foreign players will be allowed on the pitch at the same time.
In addition, a maximum of 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) has been placed on Chinese players’ salaries.
When talking on the new laws that were agreed upon by the authorities on Christmas Day, Chinese Football Association chairman Chen Xuyuan said: ‘Our clubs had too much money burned and our professional football has not been run in a sustainable way,’ according to state news agency Xinhua.
A number of Nigerian players have played for Chinese club where they enjoyed mouthwatering contracts.
Former super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel only left Chinese club Tiajin Teda
shortly after the World Cup, Ighalo who is still with Shanghai Shenhua having moved from Changchun Yatai was at a time reported to be the highest paid Nigerian player pocketing £200,000 per week.
Argentina international Carlos Tevez it will be recalled admitted earning good money while playing in the Chinese league describing his seven months romance with Shanghai Shenhua as a holiday.