China’s soccer reform plan, issued by the State Council General Office, says reform and development of the sport is important to building the countrys sports industry into both an international heavyweight and a profit machine.
The State Council says it wants sports to become a 5 trillion yuan industry by 2025. And there is significant room for growth. Sports only accounted for about 0.6 percent of Chinas GDP in 2014; in the US, the figure was around 3 percent.
Soccer ranks first among all sports internationally, making up more than 40 percent of profits in the entire sports industry. But again, China is lagging.
In 2013, the countrys top professional division, the Chinese Football Association Super League, earned 370 million yuan from television broadcasting and sponsorship deals. By comparison, the English Premier League earned 49 times more.