THE CHINESE Super League faces a player exodus after announcing massive salary cuts.
Ex-Prem stars including former Chelsea midfielder Oscar, ex-Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, Marko Arnautovic and striker Salomon Rondon joined the cash spice trail to the Far East after being tempted by huge salaries and bonuses.
But in a massive U-turn that will have far-reaching consequences, the Chinese Football Association has nowintroduced stringent regulationsto take immediate effect.
Under the new rules, foreign player salaries will be capped at 2.7million per year - around 52,000 per week.
Domestic players - which would include former Arsenal midfielder and now naturalised Chinese Nico Yennaris - will be restricted to earnings of 573,000 per year, or 11,000 per week.
In addition, CSL clubs will be banned from spending more than 69m per year in total, with a maximum 9m on foreign salaries and an average of 344,000 per player.
And clubs that fail to meet the new rules face points deductions - of between six and 24 points - while overpaid players will be BANNED from putting on their boots in games.
The former Manchester United midfielder is one of the top earners at Shandong Luneng
The striker left West Ham to join Shanghai SIPG last year
Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar currently earns around 19million each season at Shanghai SIPG
The former West Brom and Newcastle striker works under Rafa Benitez at Dalian Pro
Former Tottenham and Barcelona midfielder Paulinho is one of the leagues top earners at Guangzhou Evergrande
Although the measures come into effect from the start of the new season next month, there is dispensation for players currently under contract, although the limits must be phased in for them over three seasons.
That could mean the departures of under-contract players is not instant, although it is almost certain that the foreign stars will be seeking a way out in the coming months.
Even so, it is hard to believe the likes of Oscar - currently on around 19m per season - will not be eyeing the exit door as soon as January.
But any attempts to circumvent the rules by fraud or hiding contract payments will lead to relegation andTWO YEARbans for the players involved, which would be applicable worldwide.
Other former Prem players currently in China include Brazilian ex-Spurs and Barcelona midfielder Paulinho and one-time Tottenham club-mate Mousa Dembele, Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy and Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins.
Chinese FA President Chen Xuyuan warned: No matter how big the club is or how famous the player is, we will strictly follow the regulations with no considerations.
The clubs will also be forced to drop corporate sponsors from their names, despite pushback from supporters.
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Chen added: In the past, the club owners changed quickly in our leagues and therefore the club names also had to change.
It was not helpful to cultivate a football culture in China.
The clubs should consider the culture of local fans and the characteristics of cities when choosing new names.
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